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Michael B. Matthews
Richard Hodach

Online health risk assessments (HRAs) can be used to help make patients aware of their health problems and to help care managers stratify their patient populations by health risk. This approach complements the primary risk stratification strategy, which relies on registry reports to classify patients based on clinical data.

Provider organizations can use an automated process to generate HRA data. Patients receive an email inviting them to complete an HRA. When they click on a link, it takes them to the HRA on a website. After they answer the questions, the application automatically calculates scores for their risk factors and their willingness to change their health behavior.

Care managers can use these data in a variety of ways. For example, they can identify all patients with high risk scores. They can also stratify the population as high, medium, or low risk, with the assistance of registry reports, and use that classification as the basis for appropriate interventions.

Care managers may also factor in a patient's willingness to change. For example, if a patient has high blood pressure, is overweight, and is an active smoker, but is not ready to change, the care manager might consider that patient for an online education program or might send a message inviting him or her to attend a motivational program offered by the healthcare system.

The accompanying exhibit is an example of a health risk assessment.



(The screenshot of an HRA is courtesy of HealthMedia® SUCCEED®).

Michael B. Matthews is CEO, Central Virginia Health Network and MedVirginia, Richmond, Va. (mmatthews@cvhn.com).

Richard Hodach, MD, PhD, MPH, is chief medical officer, Phytel, Dallas (Richard.hodach@phytel.com). 

For more information, see Matthew's and Hodach's "Automation Is Key to Managing a Population's Health," hfm, April 2012

Publication Date: Thursday, April 05, 2012

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