Biometric testing, also known as health screening, is the second most commonly implemented component in employee health and wellness programs, surpassed only by Health Risk Assessments (HRAs).
What exactly is biometric testing? Biometric testing is a part of corporate wellness programs wherein employees measure their blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglycerides, blood glucose, and any other measurement that corporations and their employees choose to measure.
Conducting biometric testing for your company can be fun and easy. Due to HIPAA regulations, employers cannot take blood measurements without having an independent firm such as a wellness company or health screening organization perform the testing.
What are the benefits of doing biometric testing, and why do companies want this service conducted for their employees? There are many reasons to do biometric testing, such as health promotion, health awareness, and health education, however, the primary factor motivating organizations to have this service performed is economics. Health screenings have been shown to reduce overall medical expenditure by identifying risk factors and employees that need added health coaching services. Screenings are also used widely by insurance companies to assess individual and population risk for premiums and by employers for pre-employment screenings. The Health Risk Assessment is a great tool for assessing an employees inclusion in a health risk category. But HRA results are dependent upon the information given by the patient whereas, biometric results are exact and measurable. Most truly comprehensive personal health assessments include some combination of both testing methods.
Here are some tips for having a Biometric Testing for your organization:
- Biometric Testing should be done once a year to monitor changes.
- It is imperative that you reassure all employees of confidentiality during testing, when / how results are provided and in the before / after counseling.
- Emphasize that Biometric Testing is voluntary, but remind employees of the value of health tests.
- Incentivize participation in Biometric Testing to insure maximum participation.
- Health education materials should be distributed / made available for all employees, regardless of their health risk level.
When biometric testing reveals an individual to be high-risk, then the employee should be encouraged to see a physician for treatment and advice. Again, make certain there is incentive outside of the obvious to insure that the employee will participate in a wellness program.
Besides identifying employees that are in a high-risk category, Biometric Testing can motivate your employees to monitor their health. After a Biometric Testing some employees may feel motivated to set goals and change their behaviors due to test results.
The basic screening provides initial insight into your population’s risk factors.
- Total Cholesterol
- Glucose Measurement fasting (9 – 12 hours) is recommended
- Blood Pressure Measurement
- Weight Measurement
- Height Measurement (self-reported)
- BMI (Chart)
Create your own Biometric Test Panel
Dependent upon your company goals and needs, test panels can be custom designed to match those requirements. The list below contains just some of the tests that have measurable, quantifiable results.
- Total Cholesterol
- Total Cholesterol and Glucose
- Total Cholesterol & HDL
- Total Cholesterol/HDL & Glucose
- Total Lipid Profile
- Total Lipid Profile & Glucose
- Liver Function
- Prostate Specific Antigen
- Bone Density
- Basic Vision
- Pulmonary Function/Peak Flow
- Body Fat percentage
- C-Reactive Protein