Today's wellness programs still heavily rely on viewing historical data, which forces you to design your health and wellbeing plans by looking through the proverbial rearview mirror. In a time where the focus is on "prevention," this method means we may already be too late.
What if you could look outward through the windshield and see what's ahead, avoid accidents and become the most efficient drivers on this journey to employee health? More importantly, what if possessing such "powers" was the difference between saving a colleague's life and losing someone?
What Are Health Analytics?
Artificial intelligence (AI) has found its way into the healthcare industry, and for good reason. Healthcare providers need technology to help them make better decisions regarding patient care. That's where health analytics plays a vital role, analyzing medical and pharmacy claims, biometric screening data, as well as other sources that provide a level of influence and confidence in the decision making process.
Data scientists have developed sophisticated algorithms, that can now predict within a 95 percent accuracy if someone will visit the Emergency Room within the next 12-months, as well as forecast future healthcare cost drivers. Such tools are now being made available outside "the clinic" and into the hands of employers, health plans, insurance brokers and wellness providers.
Image courtesy of MEDAi - Based on an independent study by Milliman
An independent study across 100 employers, totaling 176,000 employees, set out to determine the accuracy of one such AI too, MedAi. The blue dots represents the predicted healthcare costs and the overlaying pink dots reflect the actual costs incurred. This study demonstrated the accuracy of the forecasting tool to be within a 95 percent certainty.
Think on that for a second. Can you imagine if you knew that Susan in Human Resources was likely going to have a major health event within the next year that would put her in the Emergency Room? Though HIPAA prevents you from knowing this about Susan directly, your health coaching vendor could, potentially, save her life. Pretty amazing, right?
What Can You Do With Health Analytics?
What if you could filter the data on your organization by location, demographics and health condition? You might instantly see that your facility in Wichita, KS has a prevalence of high cholesterol among your male population over age 40, costing you a forecasted amount of $150,000. Plus, 5 percent of those identified will likely be in the Emergency Room within the next year, and 20 percent of them don't currently have a Primary Care Physician (PCP). What could you do armed with this kind of information? The correct answer: a lot!
Image courtesy of Springbuk.com, displaying data filter capabilities that react instantly on the dashboard. Tools like Springbuk allow you to create a focused cohort, so you can monitor groups over time to see if care gaps are being closed and forecasted costs are decreasing.
For example, you could send out mailers to all your male workers about the importance of having a PCP and showcase 3-4 providers in-network within 5-miles of the facility. Your Health Coaching vendor could provide outreach to these employees to discuss ways of decreasing their cholesterol, and your Disease Management vendor could assist in closing care gaps. (And if you don't have vendors, you now have the data to inform your leadership that you need them!)
Health analytics are the future of employee health management, and today's wellness leaders know that in order to make a sustainable impact on employee health—and healthcare costs—they need to be armed with smart intelligence.
Header Photo: Twenty20
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El talento de los empleados LGTBQ+
Vivimos en un mundo cada vez más globalizado y conectado, lo cual lleva a encontrarse a gente de todas partes del mundo en las empresas. Aunque esta diversidad puede aportar muchos beneficios, la verdad es que no es fácil conseguir que conecten personas muy distintas. Para ello es imprescindible que las empresas apuesten por programas y estrategias que promuevan la harmonía y la cooperación. Con motivo del día LGTBIQ+ el 28 de junio, queremos llamar la atención a este colectivo severamente castigado socialmente. Aunque es cierto que hoy en día se han hecho muchos avances en temas de legislación para reconocer sus derechos, y la sociedad se ha vuelto más tolerante con su presencia, todavía existe discriminación en varios ámbitos sociales, incluido el laboral. Según Harvard Business Review a día de hoy el 85% de las 500 empresas en el top de fortuna ha implementado políticas de protección sobre orientación sexual, un aumento del 34% respecto al 2000. Sin embargo, como la historia ha demostrado varias veces, las leyes y la práctica no siempre van juntas. Según un informe del sindicato UGT “Las personas LGTBI en la negociación colectiva. Análisis de la protección laboral de las personas LGTBI” solo tres de cada diez convenios colectivos de las empresas españolas han establecido cláusulas destinadas a la protección del colectivo LGTBI. En Cornerstone siempre hemos estado comprometidos con la meritocracia, y el rechazo a un trabajador por su orientación sexual no únicamente es poco ético, sí no también un desperdicio de talento. No tiene ningún sentido para una empresa discriminar a posibles trabajadores solamente por pertenecer a este colectivo, malgastar recursos valiosos por prejuicios no es una buena estrategia. Así pues, con el objetivo de ayudar a este colectivo y a las empresas, hemos elaborado una lista de todos los beneficios que los trabajadores pertenecientes a la comunidad LGTBI+ pueden aportar a una empresa. Aumenta el compromiso de los empleados. Pasamos muchas horas del día en nuestro lugar de trabajo y como resultado, si la empresa en la que trabajamos está comprometida con la sociedad, hará que nosotros de una forma u otra aumentemos también nuestro compromiso con ella. Mejora del entorno laboral. Fomentar la diversidad entre los empleados hará que estos sean más tolerantes entre ellos y se sientan más respetados y acogidos por su empresa. Esto dará como resultado un clima laboral mucho más acogedor que se traducirá en empleados más fidelizados con la empresa y una menor rotación. Favorece a la imagen corporativa de la empresa. Los empleados han cambiado a lo largo de los años, ya no buscan solo ganar más dinero en una empresa, sino que buscan empresas comprometidas, que contribuyan con su labor a la sociedad y que posean valores significativos para ellos. Por lo tanto, es fundamental que las empresas posean esta imagen de compromiso y diversidad, si la tienen muchas más personas desearán trabajar en esa empresa. Hacen las empresas más productivas. Según un informe global de McKinsey, las empresas situadas cuartil superior en cuanto a diversidad étnica y cultural entre sus ejecutivos en 2019 tenían un 36% más de probabilidades de tener beneficios superiores a la media que las empresas menos inclusivas. Está claro, a más diversidad de talento, mayor beneficio.
El líder ágil: Consejos para mantener a los empleados comprometidos, conectados y productivos
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Why Corporate Wellness Programs Aren't for Number Crunchers
The hype around wellness in the workplace has reached critical mass. Corporations that once rolled their eyes at Google's full-time yoga instructors are now doling out annual wellness stipends of their own — paying for more "Namaste" to retain employees and promote overall wellness. And there's no sign the investment will stop anytime soon. According to the RAND Corporation, companies spend a total of $6 billion annually on wellness programs. Google, for example, shells out nearly $13,000 a pop on its nap pods, while Shutterstock offers employees weekly massages that amount to $50 per hour per employee (plus $800 for each massage chair). This isn’t to say it’s always expensive to run these programs — some can be low to no cost. In 2015, RAND found that most organizations plan to invest the same as 2014 (if not more) into corporate wellness programs. But the question remains: Is this a money-wasting fad or a valuable engagement and retention tool? The Employee Engagement Argument With 70 percent of U.S. workers reporting that they feel disengaged in the office, some companies believe wellness programs will reverse the trend. It makes more sense (even monetarily) to try to re-engage disillusioned employees than hunt for new talent. Studies show that disengaged workers are 2.5 times more likely to leave their jobs. One way to keep them is through these programs. "Employees value wellness-related benefits and want to work for companies that support their health-related goals," says David Roddenberry, founder of health-incentive company HealthyWage. To Roddenberry's point, experts have found that the next generation of workers place value in meaningful workplace perks, sometimes choosing a company with a healthy ethos over one that will simply offer them a larger paycheck. A survey from TechnologyAdvice found that 56 percent of people would trade a salary increase for workplace perks, with gym memberships as the second-most requested perk. The Business Case From a business perspective, however, wellness programs can seem like a money-suck as there's no clear — or uniform — way to measure ROI. Some companies opt to measure retention rates after implementing new practices, while others focus on decreased healthcare claims. It's hard to know for certain if Carol in accounting quit smoking because of the new corporate cardio classes, for example, or because her daughter implored her to make the life change — or maybe both. The difficulty, says Roddenberry, arises when companies simply throw money at wellness, but don't implement an actual program (i.e., they don't set goals or have a great answer to the "why" of the investment). Copycat programs and lack of due diligence do not make for successful employee wellness programs. "Incentives are a great example of something that works well in certain contexts, but not others," Roddenberry notes. "Some employers think that you can offer a $200 reward and expect employees to lose weight or quit smoking. Unfortunately, the money alone is not enough. The $200, when administered as part of a well-structured weight loss or smoking cessation game, can drive significant positive lifestyle change." The Takeaway Probably the most extensive employee wellness study to-date is a seven year study of 67,000 PepsiCo employees. While the study found that the beverage behemoth's chronic disease management programs lowered health care costs (lowering hospital visits 29 percent), lifestyle programs proved less successful (for each dollar spent on lifestyle programs, Pepsi lost $.52 in health care costs). The takeaway? Don't invest in a wellness program if your goal is to save money—invest in it if you want to improve company culture and help employees get closer to the ever-elusive "work-life balance." "Unfortunately, too many companies are trying to implement wellness programs with little to no experience or game plan for success," Kinema Fitness president Joshua Love writes on Forbes. "As a result, more programs fail than succeed. The real problem? Corporate wellness cannot be treated as a band-aid, and you definitely won't be able to find it in a fitness app." Ultimately, an investment can't be about returns. It can, however, foster a community of people geared towards a common goal. Better engagement, higher attendance rate, healthier families and talent attraction are all commonly believed to be by-products of a thoughtful wellness program — the question for HR is whether or not you're willing to take that leap of faith. Photo: Shutterstock