How to Design a Health Promotion Program

Smoking cessation is a primary health promotion program offered by employers.
Smoking cessation is a primary health promotion program offered by employers. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Doctor appointments, sick kids, illness and poor health are all reasons for decreased employee productivity in the work place. Implementing a health promotion program for your company will help improve employees' health, increase productivity and decrease health care expenses. By working with your health insurance carrier and/or an independent health management company to administer a health promotion program, you can design a program that not only helps employees better manage their health but increases your company’s productivity.

Contact your representative with your employer’s health insurance plan to inquire about wellness and condition management programs offered. They often have these programs available at little or no additional cost to your company. If not or you want a more enhanced program, contact an independent organization that administers employer-sponsored health promotion programs.

Ask your health plan carrier or the independent health management company to complete an analysis of employees’ paid medical and pharmacy claims to identify diseases and conditions that are prevalent in your employees' population. This information will be useful to measure outcomes after program implementation and to determine conditions to focus on. Assure the program covers prevention topics, smoking cessation, weight loss as well as various conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

Develop an incentive program for employees who participate in the health promotion programs. Because privacy rules may dictate that you cannot know the name of the participants, check with the health promotion program administrator to collaborate on incentive administration. Employees are much more likely to participate in a program that offers incentives.

Market the health promotion program to employees through brochure, letter and postcard mailings. Also hang promotional materials around the office, post information on your intranet, send out emails to all staff and hold voluntary information sessions via in-person and conference calls. Encourage participation highlighting program benefits and incentives.

Organize health fairs for employees to get health and biometric screenings such as blood pressure checks. Order publications from organizations such as the American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to hand out during these fairs.

Monitor employee participation through reports from the program administrator. Work the administrator on ways to increase participation, change marketing campaigns and enhance the programs or incentives as necessary.

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