Geneva Apr 04, 2013
A Health Risk Assessment Tool is an innovative, interactive system devised wherein the risks and situations of health of various people are gauged through a three step process which includes a questionnaire, an estimation of the risks possible or a diagnosis of an overall situation of health and a meeting with a health advisor or in any way that facilitates any change of behaviour with respect to bad habits. This has been seen as having the most benefit in the US where sedentary lifestyles and bad eating habits have propelled the nation to the forefront of lifestyle diseases like hypertension, diabetes, heart attack etc. This questionnaire system has however caught on in Europe and Asia too.
Its origins can be traced back to the point where new methods were being researched in the advent of preventive medicine. The Health Risk Assessment Tool points out the overall score of the test, which corresponds to a certain status in health and which can be understood with the help of sub-categories of habits of nutrition, exercise and lifestyle. So in case, an individual marks the slots for sedentary lifestyle, excessive smoking and drinking and frequent eating out, this increases his risks as the feedback form will mention of heart attack, diabetes etc. which could then push him to change his habits and learn accordingly.
The Health Risk Assessment Tool is an important invention in the creation of a public health formation system. Through the means of tests and scores, not only do they highlight negative life practices in groups of people, they allow a reverse interaction system where the individuals can be informed and thus help in changing contemporary health practices. Through the means of a simple questionnaire, prevention policies can be figured and can be implemented. Not just individuals, even organisations are benefitting from this practice. The Health Risk Assessment Tool is available not just through paper but also online, where a quick submission and feedback allows the individual or organisation to be periodically aware of their health situation and rectify any bad habits that may have seeped in.
Not only does this benefit individuals, organisations and the medical organisations, the Health Risk Assessment Tool is also an important concept for the Government that wishes to monitor expenditure in the health sector and predict the costs that can occur. The health risk factors can also be gauged and policies finalised accordingly. In other situations, on the basis of the information complied previously, the strategies that did not work out before can be reworked and reincorporated with new ideas for better results.
However, a Health Risk Assessment Tool cannot replace the direct consultation process with a medical practitioner because all it does is highlight risks of certain diseases, it does not particularly mention the specific diseases that can ail a person. It is the intermediary option, saves consultation charges of the doctor and provides the way to good health given the individual’s own interest in his health and wellbeing.