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Ten Questions to Assess Your Population Health Needs

April 6th, 2021 | 2 min. read

By Everside Health

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Population health management is an essential goal of a successful onsite health center and wellness program. To have a thriving, effective onsite health and wellness initiative, it must meet the needs of the employees that it serves. Therefore, any organization that is considering implementing an onsite health center should first do an assessment of population health needs.

This includes measuring unmet health needs and health risk behaviors of employees. Employees will be asked to complete a health assessment questionnaire and a biometric screening. Medical claims data for the employee population will also be analyzed to see where there are gaps in the care they are receiving.

A total population health needs assessment can be a significant undertaking. It involves a large amount of data and a complex data analysis process. For HR managers not prepared to take this task on, it’s a smart idea to partner with an onsite health and wellness solution provider. These organizations will have the experience and expertise to ensure that your health needs assessment is a success.

However, HR managers should have a basic understanding of the assessment process and which questions are important to ask to gain an accurate understanding of the total population health needs. Here are the top 10 questions to ask.

1. What is the current health status?

Are most employees generally healthy, or does the population overall struggle with obesity or other chronic conditions like diabetes? This assessment can help determine which issues to address first for greatest initial impact, as well as informing long-term planning and analysis.

2. What are current health behaviors?

It is well known that health behaviors, such as eating habits and tobacco use, are an important predictor of overall health and utilization of health services. Organizations can consider offering wellness coaching or smoking cessation services if these unhealthy behaviors are determined to be a significant issue among employees.

3. What is being done for preventive health?

Are most employees attending annual physician visits and preventive health screenings? Offering these services at an onsite health center can be a great way to encourage employees to participate in preventive health.

4. What is the current healthcare utilization?

How often are employees visiting the doctor, filling prescriptions, or using other healthcare services? Are people using timely ambulatory care, or do they make unnecessary urgent care and emergency room visits? The answers to these questions can help to predict both the utilization and potential value of onsite health center services.

5. What are the demographics?

Are your employees mostly baby boomers nearing retirement age? Or millennials with young children at home? Having a clear idea of the demographics at your organization can help in determining the most appropriate wellness services to offer.

6. What are the current eating habits?

How well are most employees eating? HR managers can consider an organization-wide nutrition wellness challenge or offering onsite nutrition coaching if eating habits seem to be a concern for many employees.

7. What is the current alcohol/tobacco usage?

Excessive alcohol or tobacco use can lead to a range of adverse health consequences. Consider offering substance abuse education or smoking cessation classes if you identify a need among employees.

8. What is the current level of physical activity?

Physical activity is an important component of overall health, but many workers do not get enough exercise. Consider offering gym membership discounts or other incentives for employees to get moving.

9. What are overall stress/anxiety Levels?

Stress is a major contributor to many physical and mental conditions, particularly in workplaces with a low work-life balance. Employers may want to offer onsite counseling services or stress management classes if employees report a high level of stress.

10. What is the overall sentiment towards health and wellness?

People who have a favorable outlook on wellness tend to be healthier overall and more likely to avoid unhealthy behaviors. Effective health and wellness programs can be a great way to put a positive spin on health for your employees. Interested in exploring how Everside’s direct primary care services might fit into your organization’s benefits offering? Contact us today to start the conversation at