Data collection should be a regular component of your worksite wellness program. Data will help you evaluate the program and know whether you have met your goals. Evaluation also gives you the information needed to modify the program as employee needs change.
Evaluation does not have to be complicated. You can follow the same data collection methods you used for planning the program: employee health risk assessments, health risk surveys, and analyzing pharmacy and medical claims data.
However, you also will want to measure:
Participation - How many people attended activities, when, and where?
Satisfaction - Were employees positive about the programming and did they believe they benefited?
Efficiency - Did the program operate within specified budget and timelines?
Knowledge - What did participants learn about diabetes prevention and management?
Outcomes - Have participants actually changed their behavior and are health indicators improving?
Participation: The easiest to measure. If employees do not like the offered programs, they will stop participating. Winning them back can be difficult.
Satisfaction: Another easily measured variable. Take criticism seriously, but not personally. People love to complain. If a company listens carefully, employees will give feedback on program design successes and failures.
Behavior changes: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined approximately 75% of health care costs and productivity losses are related to lifestyle choices. Changing behavior is critical to reducing health care costs.
Biometrics: Blood pressure, body weight and cholesterol are great evaluation targets and easy to track over time if employees remain engaged and data is collected annually.
Productivity: Employees lifestyles affect how productive they are. Lifestyles also impacts the level of service a company provides its customers. Absenteeism measures can be valuable factors for determining the impact and ROI of a wellness program, in addition to measuring health care expenditures.
Medical claims: At least 25 to 40 percent of all health plan claims are avoidable through prevention, early detection and the reduction of modifiable health risk factors. Some studies indicate this number may be as high as 50 - 70 percent. By analyzing an organization's potentially modifiable health care costs, a wellness provider can significantly advance organizational goals.