Worker Productivity | Blood Pressure Evaluation Measures
Worker productivity measures for blood pressure screening and control1-11
Healthier employees are less likely to call in sick. Employees with multiple heart disease and stroke risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol cost employers more in terms of medical care, absenteeism, and lost productivity than employees with one or none of these risk factors. Companies can sometimes assess sick day use to determine whether health programs are increasing worker productivity.
- Individuals with high blood pressure may be absent more often than individuals with normal blood pressure or those who have their blood pressure under control (e.g., with medication). Measure the average number of sick days for individuals with high blood pressure, over the previous 12 months
- Chronic high blood pressure can cause heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness. Companies can measure the average number of sick days related to these complications of high blood pressure, per employee, over the previous 12 months. For example: ◦What are the average number of sick days due to diagnosed heart attack (total number of sick days due to heart attack divided by total number of employees)
- What are the average number of sick days due to rehabilitation after stroke
- This measure may be less useful if there has been a large increase or decrease in numbers of employees over the past 12 months
- Determine costs for worker absenteeism related to high blood pressure and its complications such as heart disease, including costs of replacement workers, costs in training replacement workers, and lost and delay in productivity
- Determine the time employees spend during working hours participating in blood pressure screening worksite programs or lifestyle programs that can control high blood pressure such as physical activity, nutrition, alcohol use, stress, type 2 diabetes, and obesity
- Additional validated surveys have been developed to provide employers with information about the indirect costs of untreated or undertreated employee health issues such as high blood pressure. Employers who use these health and productivity surveys on an ongoing basis can begin to evaluate the return on investment (ROI) of offering blood pressure screening and control programs on employee absence or productivity. These surveys may be proprietary and may require a modest fee to use. Two examples are provided below:
- Health and Work Performance Questionnaire (HPQ)external icon is a short, easy to administer self-report survey designed to estimate workplace indirect costs (absenteeism, reduced productivity, and injury due to accidents) of employee health problems developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Harvard Medical School
- The Work Limitations Questionnaire (WLQ)external icon developed by the Health Institute at Tufts Medical Center is an easy to use questionnaire that addresses general work limitations which can be built into other health assessment tools such as a health risk appraisal or employee health survey
- Re-assess the average number of sick days for high blood pressure and its complications per employee at the first follow-up evaluation
- If employee education programs are successful, these measures may increase in the short term as screening and detection rates increase
- Periodic repeats of other baseline measures
- Assess changes in the average number of sick days for high blood pressure and its complications per employee in repeated follow-up evaluations
- Assess changes in time employees spend during working hours participating in blood pressure screening worksite programs or lifestyle programs that can control high blood pressure
- Assess changes in costs from baseline
1. Campbell KP, Lanza A, Dixon R, Chattopadhyay S, Molinari N, Finch RA, editors. A Purchaser’s Guide to Clinical Preventive Services: Moving Science into Coverage. Washington, DC: National Business Group on Health; 2006.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Framework for program evaluation in public health. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 1999;48(No. RR-11): 1-40.
3. Matson Koffman DM, Goetzel RZ, Anwuri VV, Shore K, Orenstein D, LaPier T. Heart-healthy and stroke-free: successful business strategies to prevent cardiovascular disease. Am J Prev Med. 2005; 29(5), suppl. 1:113-121.
4. Goetzel RZ, Anderson DR, Whitmer RW, Ozminkowski RJ, Dunn RL, Wasserman J; Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) Research Committee. The relationship between modifiable health risks and health care expenditures. An analysis of the multi-employer HERO health risk and cost database. J Occup Environ Med. 1998 Oct;40(10):843-854.
5. Goetzel RZ, Hawkins K, Ozminkowski RJ, Wang S. Top 10 physical conditions and related medical costs to employers. J Occup Environ Med 2003;45:5-14.
6. Tsai SP, Wendt JK, Ahmed FS, Donnelly RP, Strawmyer TR. Illness absence patterns among employees in a petrochemical facility: impact of selected health risk factors. J Occup Environ Med. 2005 Aug;47(8):838-846.
7. Kessler RC, Barber C, Beck A, Berglund P, Cleary PD, McKenas D, Pronk N, Simon G, Stang P, Ustun TB, Wang P. The World Health Organization Health and Work Performance Questionnaire (HPQ). J Occup Environ Med. 2003 Feb;45(2):156-174.
8. Kessler RC, Ames M, Hymel PA, Loeppke R, McKenas DK, Richling DE, Stang PE, Ustun TB. Using the World Health Organization Health and Work Performance Questionnaire (HPQ) to evaluate the indirect workplace costs of illness. J Occup Environ Med. 2004 Jun;46(6 Suppl):S23-37.
9. Wang PS, Beck A, Berglund P, Leutzinger JA, Pronk N, Richling D, Schenk TW, Simon G, Stang P, Ustun TB, Kessler RC. Chronic medical conditions and work performance in the health and work performance questionnaire calibration surveys. J Occup Environ Med. 2003 Dec;45(12):1303-1311.
10. Lerner D, Amick BC 3rd, Rogers WH, Malspeis S, Bungay K, Cynn D. The Work Limitations Questionnaire. Med Care. 2001 Jan;39(1):72-85.
11. Goetzel RZ, Ozminkowski RJ. Program evaluation. In: O’Donnell MP, editor. Health promotion in the workplace, 3rd edition. Albany, NY: Delmar Thomson Learning; 2002. p 116-165.