Top Risk Assessment Tools for Healthcare to Consider
These days, more and more private organizations are partnering with payor and provider clients participating in value-based care programs to perform in-home health evaluations that determine the whole-health needs of plan members.
These organizations, commonly referred to as Health Risk Assessment Companies (HRAs), find that certain healthcare risk management tools assist them in their efforts to evaluate the efficacy of patient care plans and overall patient health.
Below, we go over HRAs, who uses them, and why they’re important, as well as give risk assessment tools examples that help HRAs optimally perform their jobs.
What is a Health Risk Assessment?
A health risk assessment is a process used to collect health information about a patient. It is usually a combination of biometric tests and a review of a patient’s health records. It usually also entails a questionnaire covering patient demographic characteristics, lifestyle habits, physical and emotional well-being, current and previous health conditions, etc.
After this initial gathering of information, screenings and tests are run to catch diseases at their early and more treatable stages.
Who Uses a Healthcare Risk Assessment?
There are a few different organizations and individuals that find healthcare risk assessments beneficial:
- Payors: These organizations utilize HRAs to assess the risk associated with insuring new patients.
- Employers: Companies with any number of employees can utilize HRAs to better understand the health of their workforce and the medical needs they might have.
- Healthcare Marketing Professionals: These individuals use more targeted, condition-specific HRAs as a part of their larger marketing and patient engagement strategies.
What are the Risk Assessment Tools for Healthcare?
There are many different tests that can help identify disease in patients, and with every passing year, risk assessment tools for healthcare are released onto the market that help HRAs do just that: perform risk assessments. Let’s start with a more common tool and work our way down the list.
1. Wearable Fitness Trackers
The first fitness tracker hit the market in 2009 courtesy of the company FitBit. Since then, they have become a worldwide phenomenon; fitness tracking abilities of wearable devices have even become a big selling point for high-end gadgets such as Apple Watches.
HRAs can subsidize the purchase of fitness trackers for patients who are undergoing a health risk assessment in order to gather biometric data in both a passive and more effective way. Companies can have a patient wear a device for a period of time and compile the resulting data in their systems.
2. Incentive Programs
A tool in the HRA toolbox that requires no technology is creating an incentive program that aims to boost patient participation in health risk assessments. An example of this could be as simple as offering a small gift card to those who take an HRA. Any method that boosts overall participation in health examinations works for this health risk assessment tool.
3. IRIS Solution
Diabetic retinopathy screening is an important step in an HRA assessing the health of a diabetic patient. The IRIS solution is a risk assessment tool that helps HRAs administer diabetic retinopathy screenings. Our solution has resulted in saving the vision of thousands.
We provide a solution that automatically applies image enhancement software to retinal images, lightening the fundus image and making pathologies more visible. This IRIS solution can be used in medical offices or through in-home care if an organization uses a handheld fundus camera.
How HRAs Help Close Care Gaps
Health risk assessment tools help close care gaps for many organizations in a variety of ways. If used properly and efficiently, HRAs can:
- Help prevent chronic disease through early detection
- Be a predictive tool for disease by identifying conditions or harbingers of disease
- Help in understanding the average risk of a population by collecting data points
- Help to measure the impact of a certain wellness program
- Improve HEDIS measures for payors and healthcare systems through preventative screenings
- Contribute to the overall improvement of patient health
Benefits of HRAs for Diabetic Patients
For the diabetic population, HRAs contribute considerably towards the prevention of preventable blindness, thanks to routine diabetic retinopathy screenings. HRAs also promote education and awareness of diabetes complications, as well as close care gaps for both underserved and disabled populations.
By making preventative screening for diabetic retinopathy easier, the IRIS solution offers a way for HRAs, payors, Medicare Advantage plans, etc. to close patient gaps more effectively.
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