Definition of Health Risk Assessment
Health risk assessment is a certain type of screening toolcommonly used in the promotion of health. In most cases it is considered as theinitial step in various different types of multi component health promotionprograms. In some cases it is also referred to as health& well beingassessment or health risk appraisal. It is actually a certain type ofquestionnaire handed to individuals in order to evaluate their health risks andoverall quality of life. In most forms it included a risk calculation, an extendedquestionnaire and some kind of feedback usually from a health advisor. Thereare numerous different types of health risk assessments available but most ofthem are intended to accumulate information related to attitudes andwillingness to change one’s behavior in order to improve the overall quality ofhealth, physiological data (the patient’s cholesterol levels, blood pressure,height, weight and so on), personal and family medical history, the patient’slifestyle, demographic characteristics and so on. The main objectives of health risk assessmentare to inform and provide feedback to all the participants, estimate the levelsof health risks and assess health status.
There are a large number of people who do not have anyhealth care coverage, which may lead them to rather serious financial andhealth consequences. The number of uninsured individuals in the United Stateshas grown by 2.5 percent in the recent years. The state with the highestprevalence of adults with no health insurance is Idaho with more than 19percent. 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 beingwithout health insurance. Highest prevalence of having no health care coverageis commonly associated with unemployed adults. People who are between 18 and 24years old are the ones which are commonly associated with the highestprevalence of having no health care coverage. Those who did not graduate highschool 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 1970by Dr Lewis C. Robbins who specialized in preventive medical practice. Hepublished a guide called How to Practice Prospective Medicine which was focusedon patient feedback strategies, risk computations and health risk assessmentquestionnaire. The first publicly available version of such guide was firstreleased ten years later. Health risk assessment is commonly used in the UnitedStates, but in recent years it grew much more popular in certain countries inAsia and Europe. Once a person completes a health risk assessment he or she isinformed about the score broken down in various categories. The person alsogets various recommendations concerning the changes in the lifestyle. Healthrisk assessment is also highly beneficial in providing aggregated type of datawhen used in organizations and employers. Various technological advances have helped a lot in much improved deliveryof health risk assessments in the recent years. In the past decades, healthrisk assessments were done on paper, but nowadays most health risk assessmentsare implemented online. They can also be delivered face to face, by mail or bytelephone. Online health risk assessments are probably the most efficient onesbecause they provide an instant feedback, they reduce the administrative costssignificantly and they can be tailored to each individual in order to provide acompletely relevant, personalized and interactive user experience. According tonumerous scientific studies, health risk assessments are highly effective whenit comes to evaluating the efficacy and return of investment of healthpromotion strategies, measuring the absenteeism and presenteeism in companies,predicting all different types of health related costs and identifying variouskinds of health related risk factors. Health risk assessments are also highlyrecommended because they provide a person with an extremely positive effect onthe health status and health behavior changes.
Benefits of HealthRisk Assessment
There are numerous benefits obtained by the use of healthrisk assessments. They are excellent in engaging both employers and employeesin the health management process. Health risk assessments are also highlypraised for allowing the employers to evaluate changes in health behavior andhealth risks of over time. They are also very beneficial in providing theemployers with important information on productivity and results-orientedhealth promotion programs. Employers can also benefit greatly from health riskassessments because they can help them measure and monitor population healthstatuses. Health risk assessments may also come in very handy when it comes toproviding information on employees’ readiness to changing, making healthcoaching much easier, preparing the employees fot various lifestyle changes,enabling the monitoring of health statuses over time and providing each personwith a snapshot of the current health status.