Health Risk Assessment Tool Moving to Online Format
The process of conducting health risk assessments will be simplified for employers interested in encouraging preventive health behaviors for their work force.
Saint Francis Medical Center soon will offer an online health risk assessment tool that will enable employees to log on and complete the assessment from their office or the business’s computer room. The tool previously had been available only on paper.
“The tool points out areas of risk and highlights lifestyle behaviors that can lead to a positive impact on health,” explains Eileen Sievers, RN, CES, wellness instructor at Saint Francis. “This online version is much easier to use compared to the traditional paper assessment tool.”
The comprehensive questionnaire includes approximately 70 questions that provide employees with a broad-range perspective on the impact their behaviors have on their enjoyment of life, longevity and productivity.
The tool covers all the major areas of wellness, including nutrition, exercise and other lifestyle habits that affect risk factors for issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.
“The results highlight simple things that affect our health – things we may not even think about but might increase the risk of health problems down the road,” Sievers says. “It covers everything from how much daily activity we get to the number of servings of fruits and vegetables, how much water we drink and our sleep habits.”
To learn more about online employee health risk assessments, call Jason Bandermann, MBA, referral services manager, at 573-331-5825.
Free Screening Targets Oral Cancer’s Sobering Statistics
The high death rate associated with oral cancer has not changed significantly in decades, with only about half of the nearly 37,000 people diagnosed each year still alive five years later. One of the main reasons for this sobering statistic is that the discovery of these cancers typically comes late in their development.
Saint Francis Medical Center, in cooperation with the Missouri Foundation for Health, is working to take a bite out of those numbers by offering a free oral cancer screening event on Saturday, April 30, from 8 am to noon in the Saint Francis Health and Wellness Center.
Call 573-331-5877 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your screening. Space is limited.
Oral cancer often is highly treatable in its early stages, and the visual exam is simple and painless. Almost half of those diagnosed do not use tobacco and are younger than 50, with some as young as 20. In fact, the fastest-growing segment of the oral cancer population is nonsmokers younger than 50.
Everyone older than 40 should have a screening every year, particularly if you have risk factors such as:
- Tobacco use of any kind
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- HPV infection
- High levels of sun exposure
- Family history of cancer
Contact your physician or dentist immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms that may indicate the presence of cancer:
- A sore or lesion in your mouth that does not heal within two weeks
- A lump or thickening in the cheek
- A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil or lining of the mouth
- A sore throat or a feeling that you have something caught in your throat
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing or moving the jaw or tongue
- Numbness of the tongue or other areas of the mouth
- Swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
To learn more about health and wellness screenings, call Jason Bandermann, MBA, referral services manager, at 573-331-5825.
Functional Capacity Evaluations Test Ability to Return to Work
One of the most challenging aspects in determining when and if an injured employee is able to return to work involves objectively measuring his or her physical capabilities and limitations.
Physicians study the results of functional capacity evaluations (FCEs) to evaluate whether an employee can return to work and if he or she requires any restrictions.
“We use a templated system called Ergo Science that lends itself to consistent results,” explains Rob Bunger, ATC, CEAS, certified ergonomic assessment specialist at Saint Francis Medical Center. “The test is designed to mimic some of the activities the employee has to do on the job and give an accurate assessment of his or her ability to perform them.”
The full FCE can take up to four hours to complete, putting employees through an extensive combination of endurance activities, including lifting. A scaled-down version of the FCE can test specific issues. Physicians often order an FCE as the final step in a physical therapy regimen.
“We monitor employees’ body mechanics during lifts to make sure they are not setting themselves up for an injury,” Bunger says. “If they do not do the lifts correctly, they do not pass the test. The test can also be self-limiting if the patient’s discomfort level prevents him or her from completing aspects of the activity.”
For more information on employee evaluations, call Jason Bandermann, MBA, referral services manager, at 573-331-5825.