With the rapid increase in the medical and social technology of the health care industry, there is greater individual pull toward personalized medical treatment and risk prevention. Members are encouraged to take a more proactive, assertive role in their individual health. The growing popularity of a health risk assessment is widely heard, but unfortunately, not as popular in actual practice.
Members may wonder why they should complete an HRA. A health risk assessment (HRA) may be aimed at a larger group or demographic to determine health trends or it can be individualized for single members. Ultimately, members are gradually beginning to realize that it’s not enough to simply be treated on a generic level. More and more are seeking a far more unique health care plan that reflects their individual health and wellness. This type of personalized care is rare and not usually possible unless a specific health risk assessment has been performed with a trusted doctor.
Using personal information, you and your physician can develop a personal plan listing existing health hazards as well as potential future worries to be addressed. In essence, an HRA is planning for your future health in a specific, orderly way.
Performing a Health Risk Assessment
After realizing the importance of a health risk assessment, the next step for each member is to find the time to schedule and perform it. Although many HRA’s are completed at the doctor’s office or clinic, this step does not necessarily require a doctor’s office. Members may find it more comfortable to carry out this assessment in the comfort of their own home. Speak with your doctor or health care provider to schedule the appropriate time and place for this valued health assessment.
What Health Risk Assessments Detect
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define the purpose and goals of an HRA as “a systematic approach to collecting information from individuals that identifies risk factors, provides individualized feedback, and links the person with at least one intervention to promote health, sustain function and/or prevent disease.” Using specific information such as race, gender, lifestyle, past medical/family history, and overall health attitude, a comprehensive plan is developed, showing potential health hazards and issues that should be addressed and specifically prevented. By giving people the tools to know what health issues to expect, far greater treatment is more readily available, minimizing complications and fatality.
Utilizing the Benefits
With the greater accessibility of HRA’s to the general public, the benefits also increase. Personal education is paramount in the health care sector. HRA’s provide greater communication and awareness of certain diseases and health concerns that may be otherwise overlooked. Education and personal knowledge of serious health risks also increase. Those members who are warned of potentially serious illnesses in their HRA’s will naturally be more apt to learn and take progressive measures to help prevent these diseases. In addition to increased awareness and education, a greater sense of community and teamwork also develops. A patient who recognizes their health risks naturally wishes to find others who also struggle in this area. Together, they can find support and foundational strengths to combat their health challenges together.
Physician Care Management
While HRA’s may be kept on a strictly personal level for members, they can also help doctors recognize health patterns and cycles as revealed by the data in HRA’s as a whole. This is especially true for certain ethnicity and demographics who may naturally have higher rates of cancer, vascular issues, and other disease. HRA’s allow individual members to plan ahead, but more than this, they allow health care providers to spot the clues and early warnings of entire patient groups.
Although not every person will take the time to assess their individual health concerns and form an HRA, those who do will have the life-long benefit of planned care and prevention. For more information on this powerful health tool, please contact us today.