How Leveraging Data Can Improve Well-being

How Leveraging Data Can Improve Well-being

How Leveraging Data Can Improve Well-being

Data analytics has emerged and grown as a critical tool throughout the healthcare industry, and workplace health and benefits are no different. As workplace well-being programs continue to evolve, data analytics plays a key role in both shaping program development and engaging employees in taking steps toward better health. Data can be used to determine program design, encourage sustained participation, and measure success, among other strategies. By leveraging data throughout the development, implementation, and maintenance of workplace well-being programs, it’s possible to positively impact both the health of the workforce and the organization’s bottom line.

Understanding the current health of employees and where the highest healthcare claims expenses are occurring can help organizations develop initiatives and programs that are targeted to address healthcare needs across the employee population. By analyzing healthcare claims data, aggregate Personal Health Profile or Health Risk Assessment data, or biometric screening results, it’s possible to uncover the most prevalent health conditions among employees, as well as the biggest drivers of costs.

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For example, if the analysis indicates that chronic conditions are contributing to higher costs, integrating a chronic care program can help employees access the resources they need to improve their health and manage their care, which could have a positive impact on common conditions like heart disease or diabetes. If a population includes a high percentage of smokers, then a tobacco cessation program could be extremely helpful, as quitting tobacco has near-immediate positive health effects that only increase the longer people stay tobacco-free.

Surveying employees about their needs and goals can also generate helpful data to guide program development. If employees report being stressed about matters outside the workplace, introducing an Employee Assistance Program can provide welcome support. For organizations with employees looking for extra guidance on budgeting or saving for retirement, a financial wellness component can add value to the well-being program. These are just a few examples of how data can be instrumental in designing a well-being program to meet the needs of each organization’s unique workforce.

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Beyond program design, data can play a key role in driving participation in well-being programs. By utilizing data, it is possible to customize targeted outreach to address employees’ specific needs, more effectively engaging them in their healthcare. Not only can data personalize the message, but it can also help meet employees’ communication channel preferences. For example, a 2016 Health Advocate study found that individuals may prefer texts or emails for a reminder to get up and walk while a phone call to engage with a counselor through their Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is more likely to drive higher engagement. Having the data needed to understand employees’ unique goals, needs and preferences can lead to more engaging outreach, driving increased, sustainable engagement in the well-being program.

One effective means to bring this idea into action is a streamlined, data-driven web and mobile engagement platform that drives employees to use the most fitting components of the well-being program.

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