Health Risk Assessment
A health risk assessment is an assessment tool or questionnaire scientifically designed to identify health risks and outline information to assist person in making healthful changes that impact their health and prevent chronic disease.
Components of a Health Risk Assessment
A typical health risk assessment has four standard elements in a worksite wellness program:
- An individual lifestyle questionnaire to be completed by participants
- A computerized program to evaluate the data
- Confidential individual reports
- A group summary report of the aggregate assessment data
During health risk assessment a person completes a lifestyle questionnaire that asks about nutrition practices, height & weight, physical activity and exercise habits, family health history, personal stress perceptions, smoking history, and work satisfaction. Another important feature to consider is readiness to change questions to determine participation interest. Note: employee interest surveys are another way that organizations can evaluate possible employee participation in proposed wellness programs.
Including employee health screenings such as cholesterol and blood pressure (BP) results increases the advantages of a health risk assessment by providing a more precise health assessment and accordingly bettering lifestyle option decisions and program choices.
Nonetheless, it is important to determine when the health risk assessment can be used without including this information.
The lifestyle questionnaire information is entered into a computer program and an individual confidential report is generated that summarizes health risks in addition to information on how to lower risk factors.
Individual reports are completely confidential. Depending on the reason for beginning the health risk assessment, it’s important to consider the type of report the corporation will receive as well.
Another component of the health risk assessment process is a group report summarizing major risk factors and recommendations for wellness programs to implement that will reduce employee and business risks. This report provides valuable information for your health promotion program and essentially becomes your roadmap for employee intervention.
Health Risk Assessment: Data Uses
The health risk assessment may be used to:
- Bring awareness to individual staff member’s health status
- Motivate employees to make healthier lifestyle changes
- To assign a health coach to the high-risk employees
- Plan health promotion programs based on the identified needs
- Measure program success by comparing the data from one year to the next. The risk appraisal intervals can be shorter or longer based on an organizations financial commitment to their wellness programs and to ascertaining the effectiveness of the program.
Related Articles and Information: Health Risk Appraisal