10 Pros and Cons of Biometric Screening for Corporate Health
Biometric screening has become a staple in corporate health programs. Knowing the pros and cons of biometric screenings can help your organization benefit the most from the process.
For the last 13 years, CoreHealth has partnered with the best biometric screening companies to help organizations with biometrics from start to finish, including holding screenings, using biometric data to create customized wellness challenges, and securely storing data. The data gathered from biometric testing is crucial for creating results-oriented wellness programs and boosting wellness ROI. Based on our experience, we’d like to share what we’ve found to be the top 10 pros and cons of biometric screenings.
Pros of Biometric Screenings
Biometric Screenings can…
- Promote health and prevent disease. When employees learn about their health standing, often they get motivated to make improvements. Armed with new information, they can take action against early warning signs of chronic disease and prevent further issues. Biometric screenings give greater insight than online health assessments, where the user inputs information, because employees learn things they didn’t know already.
- Provide baseline data. Once your organization begins tracking employees’ health numbers, it can begin building data to document changes over time. This is essential for determining whether your wellness program is having an impact on employee health.
- Show what would benefit the population. Once you know what your employee population needs, you can design specific wellness challenges, health coaching programs (see our Introductory Guide to Employee Health Coaching), early interventions, and more. These data-driven, customized wellness activities will be much more effective than a generic, one-size-fits-all wellness program.
- Boost morale by showing concern for employee health. High employee morale is known to increase productivity, company loyalty and lower turnover and absenteeism. Offering a wellness program, including biometric screenings, is an effective way to turn the dial on these critical issues. Screenings are an all-inclusive way to kick off a new year of your corporate wellness program, and remind your employees what’s in it for them.
- Decrease health insurance claims costs. Let’s face it – for many organizations, ROI is the main motivation for offering wellness. It’s also a huge selling point for leaders who may be unsure about starting a wellness program. If saving money is the overall goal, biometrics may be the key. Simply put, it’s a lot cheaper to cure a disease in its early stages than later when it becomes a major problem. Biometric screenings raise red flags that indicate something is wrong, and allows early interventions to take place. This saves your company and employees time and money.
Cons of Biometrics Screenings
Biometric screenings take a lot of work, but if managed correctly, can be invaluable to your corporate wellness program. Below are five biometric screening hurdles and how to overcome them.
- It only works if you do. It’s great to know your employees’ health numbers, but then what? Use those numbers to clue you into what your employee population needs. Create customized wellness challenges and interventions; recruit health coaches for specific issues; schedule lunch-and-learn presentations based on prevalent problems; get people qualified for certain programs (weight loss, stress reduction, etc.) and make sure that any urgent screenings and procedures are taken care of.
- Getting employees to participate can be a headache. Who wants to use their limited time to get poked and prodded with needles? Sometimes just getting time off work is enough of an incentive to make employees want to join in, but some employees may need incentives to attend biometric screenings. Incentives could include making attendance a checklist item to earn points in a wellness program, or enter everyone who gets screened into a drawing.
- Deciding which biometric screening company to choose. Researching and choosing a screening vendor can be a daunting task. The best starting place is to make sure the company you choose is compliant with laws and standards. Ask whether a company you’re interested in is compliant with CLIA ’88 (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments), and is licensed in your state (if applicable; currently 18 U.S. states have state licensure requirements for biometric vendors). You’ll also want to ensure the company is HIPAA-compliant (to ensure security of private information), make sure their staff is licensed, and the company is insured. It’s a lot of work, but worth it in the long run.
- Uploading and synching private data. So you found a great biometric data vendor and scheduled your screenings. Now what? The next step is to ensure that the data gets uploaded correctly and securely. There are various ways to transfer data, including using a wellness app, which lets employees upload their own data; a large data file transfer directly from the provider (often times they’ll send data in aggregate); or from employees’ primary care physicians. However before it’s done, make sure that you and the vendor are in compliance with all privacy laws and regulations.
- Storing sensitive data is an issue. Once data is collected at a screening event, the next step is to store it securely. Storing private data in a way that is totally secure, compliant with local laws, and easy to manage is challenging. Ideally, you’ll be able to store all of your data in one single location. This allows for seamless integration and ease of management.
Experience has taught us that building an employee wellness program based on data from biometric screening is one of the best approaches to results-oriented wellness. The pros outweigh the cons, and with the right help, your biometric screening can go smoothly and be effective in boosting employee health. If you choose to hold biometric screenings as part of your worksite wellness program, make sure you’re familiar with the challenges you’ll face and ways to overcome them.
Learn About Biometric Data Management
Want to learn more about how your biometric data can be collected, managed, and stored using wellness technology? Contact CoreHealth!
About CoreHealth Technologies
CoreHealth Technologies Inc. is the leading corporate wellness platform trusted by wellness providers for more than 1000 organizations, ranging from medium-sized businesses to Fortune 500 enterprises. At CoreHealth, we believe that developing the best employee wellness programs is all about giving wellness companies the right code, design and access to the latest innovations. With the most customization, integrations and reliability of any software in its class, CoreHealth’s powerful platform lets users focus on growing great companies. For more information, explore the CoreHealth website.
About The Author
Laura Neuffer, M.A., has 9 years of experience in corporate wellness.