With all the past year’s changes due to the coronavirus pandemic, many organizations have decided to reduce or eliminate biometric screenings. Reasons we’ve heard for this decision are around employee safety and pure logistics of offering this service to employees.
Is now the right time to rethink and reapproach the physical well-being of employees, considering the lack of emphasis on preventive care to date over the past 18 months?
The answer… Yes!
Why it’s Important to Offer Employee Health Screenings
In this new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic – one where it has been over a year where many people have avoided visiting their primary care provider and their dentist – we are seeing the ramifications on the health of employees.
We’ve been looking at some data from the Health Innovation Group and a recent study that came out called The Impact of COVID-19 Stay at Home Orders, Health Behavior and Adults. The data shows a 21.4% drop in the number of preventative care visits between 2019 to 2020 and a decrease in the number of dental visits. Unfortunately, with this drop in standard preventive care, health risks are going unchecked.
The impact of avoiding doctors and dentists
Physical activity has decreased for many, periodontal disease is on the rise, and not surprisingly, with a global pandemic, anxiety scores have gone up. Why this is so relevant isn’t just the risk associated with these elements of preventative care. Still, they can offer guideposts for employees on how to maintain good cardiovascular health – avoiding chronic diseases like type II diabetes.
What’s more important is the cluster of these symptoms that is on the rise, which is referred to as metabolic syndrome. Understanding this risk is important because metabolic syndrome is one of the leading co-morbidities associated with both severity and mortality in COVID-19.
It’s an interesting time right now, where many people are following social isolation mandates for fear of COVID-19 but, at the same time, have missed out on the benefits of preventive care visits.
Considerations of Offering Biometric Screenings to your Employees
We understand that this year has brought a lot of unexpected hurdles. As you build a plan to reactivate wellness screenings for your employees, there are considerations to provide safe, convenient, and accessible options for everyone. Screenings also need to be supportive of your employees’ physical and emotional health that ties directly back to the well-being program to assure this isn’t just a one-off event that has no impact.
Keeping your Employees Safe
As restrictions continue to shift and recommendations to keep employees safe evolve with the roll-out of vaccines, Aduro leans on the guidance of medical and scientific experts to support both your employees and our screeners. All our staff follows CDC protocols for social distancing, and we continue to provide PPE for all staff and visitors for onsite screenings. We also offer specialized return to work services for organizations to bring employees back to the office. Discover our flexible and cost-effective Return to Work solutions here.
Reducing Fear through Communication
In a recent webinar with a benefits analyst at a leading manufacturing company, we learned the key to their success in providing screenings throughout the pandemic has been frequent communication. She reported not hearing many concerns from employees around attending an onsite screening because of the level of communication they used around what to expect at screenings. In addition, safety at the organizational level is easily experienced through temperature screenings upon entry, mask requirements, and a plethora of hand sanitizers – most employees already had a strong understanding of the safety protocols already implemented.
Using a variety of communication methods is often critical to reaching your entire population. According to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), effective communication leads to organizational success by boosting employee morale and engagement, driving company loyalty, and decreasing the chances of misunderstandings.
Learn more about how this manufacturing organization has offered safe and effective biometric screenings through the coronavirus pandemic. Watch it here.
Providing Convenient Screenings for Everyone
Aduro has shifted with the need of our clients and our screeners to provide safe health screenings to our members – for both workers who remained at the job site as well as those who became fully remote. We found it extremely important to support diverse workforces and now provide a variety of options:
- Embedded Screeners: an Aduro screener is stationed at the worksite for a specified length of time, allowing for flexibility on location and number of employees screened, following CDC protocols for social distancing.
- Micro Site Events: small-scale version of our traditional onsite events where a screener or screeners hold a 1–2-day event, following CDC protocols for social distancing.
Remote screening options:
- Health Provider Screening Forms (HPSF): Employees can download a screening form from the well-being platform and visit their primary care provider to complete their health screening at a time that works best for their schedule.
- LabCorp Vouchers: Employees can download a screening form from the well-being platform and visit a local LabCorp facility to complete their health screening at a time that works best for their schedule.
- Home Test Kits: Employees can request a screening kit to be delivered directly to their address to complete their screening in the safety and privacy of their own home.
Learn how our Wellmetrics™ screening options can support your diverse workforce. Get started here.
How Screenings have Improved Because of COVID-19
Impactful Interactions with Screeners
A surprising improvement to the traditional model of employer-sponsored biometric screenings is the impact of our one-on-one screeners. Gone are the large open rooms with only a privacy curtain between employees. The requirement of social distancing now provides an unexpected level of privacy for employees to have more meaningful and impactful interactions with their screeners. Hear from Bobbi Dyer on how this change has positively impacted her employees.
Less Schedule Disruption
Through the Micro Site Events and the Embedded Screener models, we are seeing less disruption to the overall work productivity in our manufacturing clients. With previous models, walk-in screening appointments were available and often, this led to many individuals in the same department leaving for their screenings around the same time. This would lead to increased downtime. With these new models, we work closely with department managers to structure appointments to reduce downtime and offer more predictability for job coverage. This coordination with managers also increases communication throughout teams for higher engagement in screening services.
Protect the Health and Well-being of your Employees
Now is the time to reinstate or ramp up efforts to provide preventive health screenings to your employees. Help them understand any risks that have gone unchecked over the past year and provide professionals where they can ask questions about their biometric numbers.
Aduro is here to support your planning to create the best experience for your diverse workforce to keep them safe and well. Learn more about our services here.