What are the components of a thorough employee health screening and assessments in today’s economy? What should the employer look for when choosing the right company for screening services?
In looking at seven different health assessment providers there is an array of services available. Most providers offer similar components of basic clinical health screening. These include key health metrics of:
Blood pressure & glucose, Cardiovascular, Cholesterol, Lung, Height, Weight, Body fat, BMI, Hip to Waist, flu vaccines, and Hydration level.
A few providers offered at differing advanced package levels that included a thyroid check, mammograms, testicular, osteoporosis.
Some providers offered assessments of safety & risk management, various ergonomics, pre- employment screenings, drug and alcohol screening including random, compliance, 24 hour for cause, scheduled and new placement, and over-seas fitness.
And still other providers offered profession specifics for construction and logistic industries. These included medicals for fork lift drivers, small and large lorry drivers and taxi driver assessments.
Most providers offered management for anxiety, stress, depression, absenteeism, sickness and health surveillance and management. Two providers offered management for employee benefits and legal benefit assessment for the employer.
Some providers moved beyond the clinical offerings and included lifestyle assessments that focused on stress resilience, injury reduction, wellness weeks, health days, and planned health activities. A few providers offer this education for managers and as an add-on for corporate events and seminars. This appeared to be the area that concentrated on presenting data that educated the employer on incorporating a healthy work culture.
Services were offered on site and via website questionnaires. One provider offered 24/7 support while others offered 2x 10 minute phone consultation with a health advisor, depending on the package level purchased. Some health screening packages offered actual time of 45 minutes with a doctor, again depending on the provider and package level purchased.
In researching these provider types what is notable is the clinical approach used to screen, asses and manage various physical and mental health issues. Clearly one approach does not fit all employees or business industries.
However, the one component that either was missing or hidden behind other more apparent offerings was the Complementary & Alternative Therapy Approach and Mind Body Practices of meditation, breathing and yoga, muscle relaxation, massage and acupuncture. This would be found in areas focusing on anxiety, stress and depression. We know that medically anxiety lends to back, neck, and other musculoskeletal issues and these are at the forefront of employee absenteeism. Anxiety causes behaviors that lead to back and neck pain. Everyone has experienced stress and anxiety in life. The difference is that stress is relative to an external event positive or negative and anxiety is a response to stress itself.
It would seem that with the number of employees experiencing these conditions and the number of days absent relative to them that this would be forefront.