Friday, 26 July 2013

Health Surveillance Screening or Health and Wellbeing Screening-Why Not Both?

Many companies already engage in statutory health surveillance screening which is based on the risks in the workplace. Is there an opportunity for companies to upgrade these programmes to become an organisational wide health and wellbeing programme?

Health Surveillance Screening
Occupational health is concerned with the relationship between health and work. Health problems often impact on work and conversely work can impact on health.
The law requires employers to provide a safe place of work for their employees. They must identify workplace hazards and manage health risks that arise. Companies are also required by law to provide 'reasonable accommodation' for employees with illnesses or disabilities.

Health surveillance also frequently includes health screening of employees on an annual basis to ensure that the working environment is not having a negative impact on employee health. Typical health surveillance screenings include audiometry (hearing check) and spirometry (lung function check) and often blood tests too.

Health and Wellbeing Screening
Health and Wellbeing screening aims to promote health awareness and proactive risk management by identifying employee health risks and tailoring lifestyle recommendations accordingly. These health screenings offer the opportunity to identify previously undiagnosed illnesses and to address them before they become serious.

Health and wellbeing screening is primarily used as an employee benefit either as a stand-alone measure or as part of a wellness programme. Wellness programmes are usually tailored to suit the requirements of each individual company and include measures such as fitness programmes, dietary advice and mental wellbeing awareness.
A health and wellbeing screening can contain a combination of tests. A typical basic test profile could consist of Height, Weight & BMI, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Fasting Glucose or extend to a more advanced profile including Kidney Function Test, Liver Function Test, Full Blood Count, Thyroid Function, Urinalysis, Resting ECG & Advice on Cancer Awareness.

Why Not Both?
Health surveillance screening and health and wellness screening require a similar amount of administrative resources and planning and consume the same amount of employee time. So is there an opportunity for HR to effectively upgrade existing screening programmes to offer a real employee benefit?

We think so and innovation in health screening software can now provide the self service tools and automation to minimise costly process issues. This means that the substantial effort and resources invested in health surveillance in the workplace can be communicated to each employee in an engaging way so that is also seen as a company benefit. Ultimately, this can empower your employees to better health and productivity.

Paul Mc Carthy is the CEO and Founder of Full Health Medical.

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