Global Health Risk Assessments

Implementing a health risk assessment globally can be a challenge.

January 09, 2020

Data is important in most companies. It is used to identify needs, determine response and measure success.

  • To support a global well-being strategy, data is desired, but it is often a challenge to identify, collect and interpret.
  • To obtain necessary data, some Global Institute member companies use HRAs globally to:
    • help them understand their workforce and their unique demands around the world;
    • inform leadership; and
    • drive future global and country-specific programming.

Challenges of Implementing Health Risk Assessments

Implementing a health risk assessment globally can be a challenge. Some of the challenges members encounter include:


  • Initially getting employees to participate in HRAs is a challenge due to the amount of time the survey takes to complete
  • Follow up - Getting employees to complete the assessment a second time. Without the comparative results, the data is less useful. But the fight for participation is often harder for the second assessment.
  • The prominence of HRA apps can decrease participation in online HRAs

Cultural Applicability

  • Some HRAs are not culturally relevant. For example the scoring may “penalize” someone based on dietary consumption that may be culturally driven


  • Having enough resources to make the HRA valuable

Company Approach to Promoting Participation

Participation is one of the main challenges. Member companies are addressing this in a number of ways.

Embracing Technology

Some organizations are looking to leverage apps offered by well-being providers in lieu of the conventional online HRA to boost engagement


One company incentivized participation by allowing employees to order a wearable fitness tracker once the HRA is complete. This resulted in 92% of employees completing the HRA and 50% employee enrollment in the company’s virtual health solution.

Communication Messages

Some organizations plan to position the HRA not as a "once a year event," but rather an ongoing process to assess one’s progress.

Addressing Cultural Applicability

Some members indicate that they have heard some tools may be more culturally sensitive than others. Finding the right fit is important as well as finding alternatives to obtain data if that is more suited

Annual Regulatory Health Exam

  • Some companies are using data from their country’s annual regulatory health exams to get a better profile of their workforce needs. These exams are already locally required and culturally relevant.
  • One company contracts with specific off-site facilities to provide the testing (including ultrasounds) for employee health screenings. Employees also have the option of visiting their own doctor. Their results are sent to the vendor, who puts them in an electronic format.
  • Occupational physicians review the results and provide on-site consultations with employees that have results that are out of range (as dictated in the regulations) or who work over a certain number of hours per month.

Regional Vendors

  • One member indicated that their global HRA results were skewed as questions ignored local realities. Having different vendors by region can be cumbersome, but it can better ensure culturally accurate information.

Global Institute member companies use three main global HRA vendors, which are:

  • Wellness Checkpoint¹
    • One institute member company noted that it is currently in the process of working with InfoTech to launch Wellness Checkpoint Journey¹ at their organization
  • Virgin Pulse
  • Cigna

Vendor Experience Snapshot: Wellness Checkpoint


  • Language translations
  • Extensive comparison database
  • 'Data Banker’, where reports can be configured and run
  • Individual report and partnership with InfoTech to do custom queries


  • Language translations
  • Extensive comparison database

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  1. Challenges of Implementing Health Risk Assessments
  2. Company Approach to Promoting Participation
  3. Regional Vendors