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Definition of Health Risk Assessment

Health risk assessment is a certain type of screening tool commonly used in the promotion of health. In most cases it is considered as the initial step in various different types of multi component health promotion programs. In some cases it is also referred to as health& well being assessment or health risk appraisal. It is actually a certain type of questionnaire handed to individuals in order to evaluate their health risks and overall quality of life. In most forms it included a risk calculation, an extended questionnaire and some kind of feedback usually from a health advisor. There are numerous different types of health risk assessments available but most of them are intended to accumulate information related to attitudes and willingness to change one’s behavior in order to improve the overall quality of health, physiological data (the patient’s cholesterol levels, blood pressure, height, weight and so on), personal and family medical history, the patient’s lifestyle, demographic characteristics and so on. The main objectives of health risk assessment are to inform and provide feedback to all the participants, estimate the levels of health risks and assess health status.

Statistical Data

There are a large number of people who do not have any health care coverage, which may lead them to rather serious financial and health consequences. The number of uninsured individuals in the United States has grown by 2.5 percent in the recent years. The state with the highest prevalence of adults with no health insurance is Idaho with more than 19 percent. It is also important to stress out that as far as ethnic groups go, people of Hispanic origin are the ones with the highest prevalence of being without health insurance. Highest prevalence of having no health care coverage is commonly associated with unemployed adults. People who are between 18 and 24 years old are the ones which are commonly associated with the highest prevalence of having no health care coverage. Those who did not graduate high school are more likely to not have health care coverage than those who did.

History and Advances

The concept of health risk assessment was invented in 1970 by Dr Lewis C. Robbins who specialized in preventive medical practice. He published a guide called How to Practice Prospective Medicine which was focused on patient feedback strategies, risk computations and health risk assessment questionnaire. The first publicly available version of such guide was first released ten years later. Health risk assessment is commonly used in the United States, but in recent years it grew much more popular in certain countries in Asia and Europe. Once a person completes a health risk assessment he or she is informed about the score broken down in various categories. The person also gets various recommendations concerning the changes in the lifestyle. Health risk assessment is also highly beneficial in providing aggregated type of data when used in organizations and employers. Various technological advances have helped a lot in much improved delivery of health risk assessments in the recent years. In the past decades, health risk assessments were done on paper, but nowadays most health risk assessments are implemented online. They can also be delivered face to face, by mail or by telephone. Online health risk assessments are probably the most efficient ones because they provide an instant feedback, they reduce the administrative costs significantly and they can be tailored to each individual in order to provide a completely relevant, personalized and interactive user experience. According to numerous scientific studies, health risk assessments are highly effective when it comes to evaluating the efficacy and return of investment of health promotion strategies, measuring the absenteeism and presenteeism in companies, predicting all different types of health related costs and identifying various kinds of health related risk factors. Health risk assessments are also highly recommended because they provide a person with an extremely positive effect on the health status and health behavior changes.

Benefits of Health Risk Assessment

There are numerous benefits obtained by the use of health risk assessments. They are excellent in engaging both employers and employees in the health management process. Health risk assessments are also highly praised for allowing the employers to evaluate changes in health behavior and health risks of over time. They are also very beneficial in providing the employers with important information on productivity and results-oriented health promotion programs. Employers can also benefit greatly from health risk assessments because they can help them measure and monitor population health statuses. Health risk assessments may also come in very handy when it comes to providing information on employees’ readiness to changing, making health coaching much easier, preparing the employees fot various lifestyle changes, enabling the monitoring of health statuses over time and providing each person with a snapshot of the current health status.

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