Consider this. Only one in five individuals routinely get a yearly physical with their primary care provider.
As a health and wellness professional, you need to maintain a sense of where your population’s health lies in order to ensure you’re offering and promoting the right products and information to them. That’s why assessing their health risks benefits both your end users and your entire organization.
Interestingly, though, encouraging everyone to schedule and attend a physical may not be the greatest use of time or funds for anyone involved. According to a recent study, annual physicals don’t actually do much to improve an individual’s health. Sure, a physician will check a patient’s heart rate and blood pressure, and ask them relevant questions. But for people with no pre-existing conditions or risk-factors for looming issues, their annual visits are just something to check off the box. This is most likely one of the reasons why people skip them—they just don’t see them as worth their time because they know that, theoretically, they’re healthy.
If most of your population doesn’t have a yearly physical, and if a yearly physical might not be necessary in general, the question remains: How can you detect health risks in your population and ensure that individuals are get the resources they need to make lifestyle changes?
The answer is by providing them with a health risk assessment (HRA). Let’s take a closer look as to why.
Benefits of Health Risk Assessments
- Provide a snapshot of current health status
The biggest benefit of HRAs is that they provide both the wellness provider and the individual with a snapshot of their current and future health based on health habits and potential risk factors. If a segment of your population isn’t routinely seeing their primary care physician for annual visits, they may be unaware that their risk factors for certain ailments and illnesses are rising as they continue unhealthy habits. This snapshot of their current health could be what jumpstarts them to pursue a healthier lifestyle.
- Provide information to aid in implementing new programs
As wellness providers, you should tailor information and offerings to your population. But without knowing what they need and whether they’re ready to make a change, it’s difficult to know what to offer.
HRAs provide valuable information that allows you to make decisions about what products and services to promote to individuals, and what maintenance steps to recommend (or mandate) to your population. For example, if the assessments show that a large portion of your population isn’t eating a balanced diet, you can create resources to either help explain the benefits of various nutrients or offer the services of a nutritionist or dietician. Similarly, if some of your population indicates that they’re experiencing high levels of stress due to lack of sleep, it may be worthwhile to provide resources on meditation, the benefits of shutting down electronics before bed, et cetera.
- Provide information necessary for timely follow-up to high risk populations
It’s important to maintain communication with those who are at risk and follow up with them when appropriate. To do that efficiently and effectively, you first need to be able to identify populations at risk. By having them complete HRAs, you can then segment populations with complex care and provide them with the tools, resources, and recommendations needed to help them make healthier lifestyle choices.
Are you ready to learn more about using health risk assessments to benefit your population? Download our guide, Choosing the Best Health Risk Assessment, today.