What is your GOLD STANDARD for on-site wellness screenings?
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
by Sandi Carter, Director of Health Risk Management of Ertel & Company, Inc.
So, you have taken the leap of faith into wellness for your employees. With so many vendors to choose from, how do you know where to begin?
First of all, it is important to know that “not all wellness screenings are created equal”.
- Who is conducting your wellness screenings?
- Is it a technician…a nurse?
- What is their background?
- Can they answer your health questions?
- Do your employees have the opportunity to be counseled/educated on their overall health?
- What tests are being conducted?
- Will your employees know the status of their health during their screen or do they have to wait for answers to come later?
If you are going to invest the time and the money into offering on-site health screens, why not make sure you are getting the best?
Staffing: Make sure your vendor’s program is led by an MD. The screening team should have a combination of medical professionals including Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Physicians Assistants as well as Nurses. Why? If an employee needs a prescription, shouldn’t it be written on the spot? If you have questions on a health issue, shouldn’t a qualified professional be available to answer your questions and concerns? If a major health issue is detected, shouldn’t a qualified professional be able to accurately direct your employee to the next steps (which in reality could include an immediate trip to the ER)?
Testing: A Cholesterol Panel is a good start, but what about your Kidney and Liver? Why consider just a Blood Glucose level when a Hemoglobin A1c test can tell you so much more? In addition to the obvious need for blood testing, employers should also consider screening for such things as depression, stress and colon cancer. These additional screenings could uncover treatable mental health conditions, substance abuse and other illnesses not readily identified otherwise.
Results: Consider your health screenings to be a “teachable moment” for your employees. Screening results should be immediate, but handing them a piece of paper is just not good enough. If an employee has high blood pressure, shouldn’t they learn how to manage it? If they are overweight, shouldn’t they be informed of simple ways to shed a few pounds? Education of the test results is just as important as the test itself!
With insurance rates rising at incredibly high levels, it is more important than ever to have healthy employees. Busy schedules, long work hours and family demands often lead to neglect on one’s health and happiness. Make on-site health screens work for your company! But consider this…what is your GOLD STANDARD? Why should you settle for less?
About the Author
Sandi Carter is the Director of Health Risk Management for Ertel & Company, Inc., a Wellness and Employee Benefits organization. With the lead and direction of Dr. Amy Kiley Ertel, Ertel & Company develops wellness programs (known as Health Risk Management) for their many clients throughout the state of Indiana. Their unique approach to wellness begins with on-site health screens conducted in their Mobile BeneFIT Center. For more detailed information behind their GOLD STANDARDS, watch for their next blog in March to be published through IndySHRM.
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