High Threat Security Protection in a Fast-Changing World

Over the past 20 years, the imperative of keeping people, assets, resources, and commodities safe in high threat environments has taken on new meaning. The terrorist bombings of U.S. embassies and installations, the 9/11 attacks, and the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Ukraine have significantly increased the challenges of securing infrastructure and protecting diplomats and government officials.

For example, when US officials visit high threat locations such as embassies or airbases, they must be protected from the moment they wake up, travel to the facility, perform their duties, and return safely at the end of the day. Whether mobile or static, any threats must be detected, mitigated, and deterred – without impinging on that person’s ability to operate freely, no matter how high the threat level.

High Threat Security and Protection in Action

Acuity’s Global Missions Solutions team understands the need to balance security with mission objectives. We are a trusted partner for risk management solutions that detect and deter a full spectrum of threats, including active shooters, explosives, kidnapping, facility breaches, and other incidents.

Our strategic leadership team has more than 250 years of experience in various risk management and mitigation fields in dangerous and austere environments, including defense operations, law enforcement, logistics and base operations, and more.

Furthermore, our high-threat protective services personnel are the best in the world. Before any assignment, they must meet stringent mental, physical, and moral qualifications, have proper security clearances, and undertake extensive standards-driven training.

Together, we integrate operation and mission planning, risk assessment, security services, and state-of-the-art technology and cyber operations to enhance situational awareness, manage client movement, secure critical infrastructure, and deploy quick-reaction personnel.

Wherever the mission takes a client, we are one step ahead with a full-scope analysis. In addition to conducting a threat intelligence assessment of the destination, we pinpoint enroute egress points, nearby medical facilities, safe place locations, and friendly allies in the vicinity. Our security teams know the blood types and medical conditions of the individuals under their protection and are accompanied by highly trained rapid response medical teams. They are also well-equipped to quickly remove our at-risk individuals, no matter how mobility-challenged they may be.

Navigating New Realities

One of our strengths services is our ability to adapt to changing realities. For example, during the pandemic, when commercial air travel was halted, we chartered private aircraft so that we could quickly deploy our teams at limited notice to support and secure the ongoing missions of our clients.

The results speak for themselves. We can report no significant incidents since the inception of our protective services.

Making, and Exceeding, the Grade

We also consistently exceed Program Management Review (PMR) and Contractor Performance Assessment Review (CPAR) requirements and are credited for the best practices that we implement.

Furthermore, we are the first U.S. company to meet worldwide ANSI/ASIS PSC.1-2012 standards, which ensure the quality of private security operations in support of international defense and diplomatic security missions.

Making the grade is a vital part of our commitment to our clients and why we’re consistently recognized as one of the world’s preeminent high threat security solutions providers to a broad array of government agencies.

Work With Us

Learn more about Acuity’s Global Mission Solutions or contact us today to discuss partnership opportunities.

 ____________________________________________________________________________________________

About the Author:

Mike Reynolds is a Practice Leader and has more than 36 years of experience of executing and aligning law enforcement and protective services with business objectives. Mike joined Acuity in 2020 as a program manager for risk management, supporting U.S. Department of State task orders in Erbil, Iraq, and Mogadishu, Somalia. Prior to joining Acuity, his roles included Law Enforcement Police Commander (Retired), Department of Defense Operations, and Program Manager for U.S. Department of State Security Forces at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. He also served as the Deputy Program Manager for U.S. Security Forces at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.

Connect with him at michael.reynolds@acuityinternational.com.

Predictive Health Analytics in the Workplace: Observation, Prediction, and Control

Knowledge is Power, Power provides Information; Information leads to Education, Education breeds Wisdom; Wisdom is Liberation.”Israelmore Ayivor

Who hasn’t watched world-class cyclists aggressively competing in the Tour de France? Cycling at high speed in tight packs on winding roads, they have an uncanny ability to quickly identify opportunities to gain an edge, predict the response of their competitors and the pack as they make their move, and effectively gain control and take the lead (and hopefully the yellow jersey). How do they do that?

Observation, Prediction, and Control

The scientific method includes generating hypotheses from observations of the world, which are then deployed to test their reliability or accuracy. The best way to test reliability is to predict an effect before it occurs. If we can manipulate the independent variables (the efficient causes) that make it occur, then the ability to predict makes it possible to control. Such control helps to isolate the relevant variables. Control also refers to a comparison condition, conducted to see what would have happened if we had not deployed the key ingredient of the hypothesis: scientific knowledge only accrues when we compare what happens in one condition against what happens in another.

Using Predictive Analytics to Improve Healthcare

The past century’s advancements in healthcare have resulted in an ever-increasing knowledge base of biomedical data for healthcare providers to access while diagnosing and treating their patients. Multi-platform interoperability and artificial intelligence (AI) are helping to corral those living and growing databases of biometrics and health outcomes.

According to a study by the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) on “The Future State of Clinical Data Capture and Documentation,” global healthcare data added up to around 500 petabytes in the year 2012 and was expected to reach around 25,000 petabytes by the year 2020. Despite this wealth of information, it also creates a problem: accessibility. The main purpose of documentation should be to support patient care and improved outcomes for individuals and populations according to an AMIA Health Policy Meeting. This is where predictive analytics come into play, allowing the healthcare community to focus on finding innovative ways to enhance people and population health without having to manually examine a large amount of unwieldy data.

Observation: Gather and monitor demographic, biometric, and health outcome data.
Prediction: Identify relevant, high-yield opportunities to impact employee health, well-being, productivity, and business success.
Control: Implement focused interventions while continuously monitoring preferred impacts on your population and business; monitor and adjust as appropriate.

Here are a few examples of focused, IT-budget friendly excursions into the world of predictive healthcare analytics which can be applied in a corporate setting:

  1. Identify key readily available attributes of your population’s demographics (age, gender, dependents, ethnicity, median income, etc.) to design targeted health information newsletters and resources relevant to your business.
  2. Using data gleaned from indemnity and workers’ compensation claims, identify opportunities to modify health benefits plans to proactively address high-risk behaviors or diagnoses. In other words, focus on primary and secondary prevention interventions.
  3. Using a Health Risk Assessment (HRA) tool, confidentially survey your population for their healthcare challenges, both personal and work-related. Does the data match up with your benefits plans and claims data? Recruitment and retention?

7 Ways Predictive Analytics Can Improve Healthcare

  1. Increased accuracy of diagnoses.
  2. Improved preventive medicine and public health.
  3. Provide physicians with answers they are seeking for individual patients.
  4. Provide employers and hospitals with predictions concerning insurance product costs.
  5. Allow researchers to develop prediction models that do not require thousands of cases and that can become more accurate over time.
  6. Pharmaceutical companies can use predictive analytics to best meet the needs of the public for medications.
  7. Patients have the potential benefit of better outcomes due to predictive analytics.

If you’re interested in learning more, consider these resources for additional reading:

  1. Caitlin M. Cusack. “The future state of clinical data capture and documentation: a report from AMIA’s 2011 Policy Meeting.” Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Volume 20, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 134–140.
  2. Nghi Tran-Hoang-Phuong. “7 Ways Predictive Analysis Can Improve Healthcare.” July 15, 2021.
  3. Shantanu Chaturvedi. “7 Ways Predictive Analysis Can Improve Healthcare.” Digital Health Today. November 8, 2017.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

About the Author

Dr. Joe Mignogna is Acuity’s Chief Medical Officer.  Connect with him at jmignogna@acuityinternational.com

Dr. Joe Mignogna, MD, MPH, CIME, FACOEM, Chief Medical Officer

Monkeypox: What We Know So Far and Ways to Prevent Transmission

Updated June 20, 2022

As previously stated, monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research, hence the name “monkeypox.” In 1970, when smallpox was nearly eradicated, the previously unrecognized orthopoxvirus named monkeypox was identified in humans. The first known human case occurred in Zaire (now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo) when a 9-year-old boy developed a smallpox-like illness, which was eventually confirmed as human monkeypox by the World Health Organization. Retrospectively, similar cases were also occurring in 1970-1971 in the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

Monkeypox was limited to the rain forests of central and western Africa until 2003 when the first cases in the Western Hemisphere were reported. In late spring 2003, multiple persons were identified in the midwestern United States who had developed fever, rash, respiratory symptoms, and lymphadenopathy following exposure to ill pet prairie dogs infected with the monkeypox virus. In July 2021, the first U.S. case of monkeypox was reported in Dallas, Texas by a traveler from Nigeria. The exact potential for human-to-human transmission and human-to-animal transmission remains unknown, although it is not currently considered to be easily transmitted. Monkeypox is NOT a sexually transmitted disease (STI), although it spreads by close physical contact that could include sex. Transmission may also occur via respiratory droplets (and possibly short-range aerosols) or contact with contaminated materials (e.g., linens, bedding, electronics, clothing). The vast majority of cases have been in males. In the African epidemics, 90% of the patients were children younger than 15 years.

As of June 17, 2022, there were over 2500 total confirmed monkeypox cases in 47 non-endemic countries, including 100 cases across 20 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, with over 90 lab-confirmed cases being reported daily. To date, there have been no reported monkeypox fatalities in the United States. Although patients generally feel poorly, the disease is usually mild and self-limited with resolution in 2-4 weeks. “All the cases we’ve seen to date in this outbreak are related to direct contact, either through skin-to-skin contact or through bed sheets,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.

Outbreaks in western and central Africa have been linked to exposure to rats, rabbits, squirrels, monkeys, porcupines, and gazelles. Inhabitants of remote tropical rain forests may become infected from direct contact while capturing, slaughtering, and/or preparing these animals for food; ingestion has also been linked to infection. Consumption of such so-called “bush meat” is particularly hazardous because the flesh is often undercooked. Because of the diversity of animals eaten by local inhabitants, conclusions about the relative risk of meat sources are not known with certainty.

Investigation of the exotic pet industry by state and federal authorities was triggered by the 2003 outbreak. The FDA lifted its restrictions on pet prairie dogs in 2008. The FDA consulted with the CDC and determined that the domestic restrictions placed on certain African rodents, prairie dogs, and certain other animals were no longer needed. However, the CDC restriction on the importation of all African rodents remains in effect to prevent further reintroduction of the monkeypox virus into the United States.

Although WHO considers airborne transmission a possibility, per Dr. Walensky, “We have not seen documentation of that through our experience with this virus or with prior similar viruses.” Epidemiologists are following this unusual outbreak very closely.

The CDC and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) have asked for each state medical board’s assistance in sharing guidance with health care practitioners licensed in their state or territory. The guidance includes the latest information and resources to plan and prepare for monkeypox virus outbreaks.

The 6-13-22 CDC / AAMC Resource Guide on Monkeypox provides information and resources regarding symptoms, diagnosis, specimen collection, isolation, positive test results, treatment protocols, and patient information.

Update as of June 2, 2022

As we all follow the evolving monkeypox situation, here are some recent updates. Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research, hence the name “monkeypox.” The natural reservoir of monkeypox remains unknown. However, African rodents and non-human primates (like monkeys) may harbor the virus and infect people.

The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo during a period of intensified effort to eliminate smallpox. Since then, monkeypox has been reported in humans in other central and western African countries.

To date, more than 750 community-based cases have been confirmed in 31 countries, increasing daily; the CDC advises that the risk to the general US population remains low, with 19 confirmed cases. There are currently no recommended travel restrictions, and no transmission was ever detected on aircraft while smallpox was circulating years ago.

Although monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease (not transmitted through seminal or vaginal fluids), the high incidence among young men who identify as gay, bisexual, or men who have sex with men supports the evidence that the virus can spread by viral droplets during close contact as well as from direct skin exposure to active lesions. The virus can also cross the placenta from the mother to her fetus.

Although there is no commercial assay to detect the monkeypox virus, diagnostic testing for Orthopoxviruses (which includes the monkeypox virus) is available at LRN laboratories (CDC’s Laboratory Response Network) located throughout the United States and abroad. Newly developed PCR assays will improve the rapid detection and differentiation of monkeypox infections from other rash illnesses. State and local health departments should be contacted before contacting the CDC. To date, no deaths have been reported in European cases, and infections have been mild.

The incubation period is typically 3 to 16 days, with many cases presenting with atypical features including very mild prodromal symptoms of a rash starting in the genital and perianal areas, fever, headache, muscle aches, and back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and fatigue.

This is followed by a uniformly evolving blistering rash, which progresses from macules to papules, vesicles, and pustules and then to scabs and scars (in contrast to chicken pox or syphilis rash that appears in various stages of development). The patient is no longer infectious after the scabs fall off, which may take several weeks.

In the U.S., public health officials are in the process of releasing the two-dose Jynneos smallpox vaccine from the Strategic National Stockpile to protect some high-risk Americans who have been in contact with current monkeypox patients. It is approved to treat both monkeypox and smallpox.

New smallpox/monkeypox Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) dated 6-1-22 is now available from the CDC.

 ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Original Post

In the recent news, there have been talks about the monkeypox cases in Europe and now the United States. President Biden called it something “to be concerned about” and is being very closely monitored here and internationally. Monkeypox was first identified in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and has since expanded over the last 10 years to many other African nations. Despite the name, monkeys, like humans, are accidental hosts. The wild animal reservoir remains unknown.

Here is some current information on the situation and monkeypox in general.

From the CDC About Monkeypox | Monkeypox | Poxvirus | CDC as of today:

  • A patient was confirmed in Massachusetts to be infected with a West African strain after returning to the US from Canada, they are currently being isolated and pose no risk to the public. See 2022 United States Monkeypox Case | Monkeypox | Poxvirus | CDC for more information.
  • Monkeypox is a rare viral disease. The virus belongs to the same family and genus as variola virus (causing smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox. The rash is indistinguishable from smallpox.
  • CDC is also tracking multiple clusters of monkeypox cases reported in several countries that don’t normally report monkeypox, including in Europe and North America.
  • The rash associated with monkeypox involves vesicles or pustules that are deep-seated, firm or hard, well-circumscribed, and grow synchronously (all lesions at the same stage as the disease progresses, as opposed to chickenpox); the lesions may umbilicate or become confluent and progress over time to scabs.
  • Presenting symptoms typically include fever, chills, a distinctive rash, or new lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes).
  • The rash associated with monkeypox can be confused with other diseases that are encountered in clinical practice (e.g., secondary syphilis, herpes, chancroid, and varicella-zoster).
  • The illness typically lasts for 2−4 weeks. Although rare, in Africa, monkeypox has been shown to cause death in as many as 1 in 10 persons who contract the disease.
  • Based on the limited information available at this time, the risk to the public appears low.

Transmission

  • Transmission of monkeypox virus occurs when a person comes into contact with the virus from an animal, human, or materials contaminated with the virus. The virus enters the body through broken skin (even if not visible), respiratory tract, or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth).
  • Human-to-human transmission is thought to occur primarily through large respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets generally cannot travel more than a few feet, so prolonged face-to-face contact is required.
  • Other human-to-human methods of transmission include direct contact with body fluids or lesion material, and indirect contact with lesion material, such as through contaminated clothing or linens.
  • The secondary attack rate is estimated at 10% in contacts unvaccinated against smallpox.

Prevention

  • The vaccine JYNNEOSTM (also known as Imvamune or Imvanex) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of monkeypox. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is currently evaluating JYNNEOSTM for the protection of people at risk of occupational exposure to other orthopoxviruses such as smallpox and monkeypox in a pre-event setting.
  • Smallpox (vaccinia) and monkeypox vaccines are effective at protecting people against monkeypox when given before exposure to monkeypox. Experts also believe that vaccination after a monkeypox exposure may help prevent the disease or make it less severe. In addition to the smallpox vaccine, vaccinia immune globulin and some limited use medications are available for monkeypox outbreak control.
  • Routine vaccination of the American public against smallpox stopped in 1972 after the disease was eradicated in the United States and is no longer available to the public. Those that are old enough have a faded but unique vaccination scar on their left upper arm.

 ____________________________________________________________________________________________

About the Author

Dr. Joe Mignogna is Acuity’s Chief Medical Officer.  Connect with him at jmignogna@acuityinternational.com

Dr. Joe Mignogna, MD, MPH, CIME, FACOEM, Chief Medical Officer

Wellness Programs: Using Healthcare Analytics to Support Employee Health

Most well-designed corporate wellness programs are successful, but we’ve all seen well-intended short-lived efforts come and go over the years. The challenge is defining “well-designed” and “successful.” This third edition will focus on practical considerations for using employee healthcare analytics in your business setting to support employee health and wellness. But first, a brief background on employer-based wellness programs.

A thriving “culture of health” at any organization relies on many factors, from leadership support at all levels to shared corporate values, to formal and informal systems reinforcing healthy behaviors, to accurate, reliable, and reproducible tools to measure all aspects of the culture of health.

It’s been well-documented that custom-designed wellness products can support corporate performance, both in dollars and human capital. Examples of highly developed wellness models include the ACOEM Corporate Health Achievement Award or CHAA, HERO Employee Health and Well-Being Best Practices Scorecard, Health Risk Assessments, The Health Project C. Everett Koop National Health Awards, and health & wellness “contracts” using The Transtheoretical Model (Stages of Change) model.

Studies have shown a link between stock market price growth, financial performance, and having a great employee health program (CHAA, Koop Award). Employers attesting to comprehensive wellness programs outperformed the S&P index at rates ranging from 7-16 percentage points per year, representing a nearly doubling or tripling of earnings.

  • Stock performance is tied to companies with high ratings for corporate social responsibility, employee job satisfaction, spending on human resources and acknowledged as a best place to work
  • Stock values for a portfolio of companies that received high corporate health & wellness scores appreciated by 235% compared to the S&P Index of 159% over a six-year period
  • Investing in funds to develop a great wellness program will not make stock prices go down
  • Great wellness programs may be reliable indicators of future stock performance
  • Investing in funds to create a great wellness program will not make stock prices go down
  • Great wellness programs may be reliable indicators of future stock performance
  • A 2018 UK study by Glassdoor of over 35,000 reviews across 164 employers found those with more satisfied employees returned ~16% more than those with less satisfied employees
  • Koop Award companies outperformed the S&P Index over a 14-year period (2000-2014)

It’s also important to understand the practical concepts regarding CDC: Clinical Prevention Models. Most corporate wellness programs focus on primary and secondary prevention.

  • Primary prevention aims to prevent disease or injury before it ever occurs.
  • Secondary prevention focuses on early diagnosis to prompt timely interventions to prevent or minimize morbidity, reduced productivity and additional costs.
  • Tertiary prevention addresses effective interventions and employee disposition once disease or impairment is evident.

Most cookie-cutter wellness programs, despite great intentions, are often doomed to failure. You can create customized, focused programs that “learn” as they grow using well-designed analytics tools to harness your unique populations’ health data. Tap into those databases we discussed in an earlier blog, such as indemnity and workers’ compensation claims, demographics, HRAs and employee surveys to customize your wellness programs for maximal impacts on your bottom line and employee health, well-being, retention and productivity.

Stay tuned for further predictive healthcare analytics blogs covering a variety of other common and important business topics.

 ____________________________________________________________________________________________

About the Author:

Dr. Joe Mignogna is Acuity’s Chief Medical Officer.  Connect with him at jmignogna@acuityinternational.com

Dr. Joe Mignogna, MD, MPH, CIME, FACOEM, Chief Medical Officer

Predictive Health Analytics in the Workplace

Knowledge is Power, Power provides Information; Information leads to Education, Education breeds Wisdom; Wisdom is Liberation.”Israelmore Ayivor

Tackling health analytics in the workplace can appear daunting and intimidating. It can be difficult to know where to start, what resources are needed, and what the time commitment will be – not to mention balancing the initiative with other business needs.

Most organizations have a vast number of health data sources coming from different directions and in a variety of formats. It’s important to take it one step at a time, following a step-by-step approach to identify, collect, and analyze data:

  1. Identify your data streams and ensure access
  2. Determine how you will collect and store the data
  3. Develop and implement processes and technologies to analyze the data

Remember, the goal is to provide a valid and “living” real-world picture of your Population at Risk (PAR) at any point in time and as it trends over time. Some of the data may seem obvious and intuitive, but additional context and data can reveal a more holistic profile of your PAR. Keep in mind the importance of privacy and confidentiality while handling employee personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI), and consider anonymizing and/or aggregating data whenever practical.

Here are some data points and data sources to consider when collecting healthcare data analytics for your organization:

  1. Employee demographics
    1. Can include but are not limited to age, gender, ethnicity, home of record zip code, and education level.
  2. Employee attributes related to Business Continuity Planning (BCP) or Continuation of Operations:
    1. For example, dependents living at home, a working spouse or partner, access to transportation during inclement weather or natural disasters (some of these attributes also covered under #12 social determinants of health), home location (risk of bridge or highway closures, areas prone to flooding, reliable utilities, etc.), availability of a secure home workstation to work remotely, and access to a mobile phone.
  3. Employment
    1. Can include years of service to the company, job category, location or department, salary quartile, performance rating, as well as professional certifications, experience, and interests.
  4. Healthcare
    1. Personal healthcare indemnity claims, which provide an exemption from incurred penalties or liabilities, bundled into a limited number of manageable diagnostic codes or categories.
  5. Workers’ compensation
    1. Similar profile to personal indemnity claims; include time out of work, costs, healthcare provider attributes (name, access, responsiveness, patient satisfaction, quality of care (best practices and published guidelines), and location.
  6. Medical leave
    1. Frequency and duration of leave, restricted duty, and accommodations.
  7. Drug testing data
    1. If relevant, can include pre-employment, random, or other reasons to test.
  8. Healthcare benefits utilization beyond claims data
    1. Can include Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), wellness and prevention programs (i.e. smoking cessation), fitness club membership, weight loss, or exercise groups.
  9. Health Risk Appraisals (HRA)
    1. Lifestyle factors such as tobacco use, exercise, alcohol intake, diet, seatbelts, and sleep hygiene. HRA data can also examine mental health, work-life balance, biometrics, and personal & family medical history.
  10. Employee and manager surveys
    1. Examples include job satisfaction, suggestions, challenges, or complaints.
  11. Human resources data
    1. Including but not limited to recruiting, retention, and turnover.
  12. Social Determinants of Health (SDOH)
    1. A relatively new area of research, SDOH focuses on conditions in which people are born, grow, live, play, and age – connecting which factors are shown to lead to health disparities and inequality, many impacting work productivity. Examples include economic stability, access to healthcare and transportation, community and environment, education, family dynamics, social networks, safe and affordable housing, and access to healthy food.

The data collection and analysis phases generally require some investment into applicable technologies and informatics expertise. Many of your data streams and databases will require “translators” and interfaces to facilitate transforming the data into a common operational format for ongoing collection and eventual analysis.

Once you’ve collected your data and identified similarities, differences, and patterns, you can query that data to create a valuable information resource for your organization. Stay tuned for a blog on best practices for making the most of your healthcare data analytics.


About the author:
Dr. Joe Mignogna is Acuity’s Chief Medical Officer.  Connect with him at jmignogna@acuityinternational.com

Dr. Joe Mignogna, MD, MPH, CIME, FACOEM, Chief Medical Officer

How Predictive Analytics is Reshaping Workplace Health, Wellness, and Safety Planning

What is Predictive Analytics?

Predictive analytics is the practice of extracting insights from data and using that information to predict trends and patterns, and inform future outcomes. As consumers, we encounter predictive analytics in many aspects of our lives. It influences various areas, from what we purchase on Amazon to what we watch on Netflix.

But predictive analytics can also enhance employee health and wellness, and support business continuity. With the right tools and data, forward-thinking employers can yield valuable insights about improving the work environment, controlling absenteeism and presenteeism, retaining valued employees, and reducing workforce-related costs and risks.

Indeed, turning data about populations at risk (PAR) into an action plan for the business is a strategic opportunity that organizations can’t ignore. After all, if you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.

4 Ways Predictive Analytics Improves the Workplace Environment

1. Yield insights into populations at risk

A growing use case for predictive analytics in the workplace is employee health and wellness. Frequent workplace injuries or health issues have direct financial costs, including lost time, insurance premium hikes, workers’ compensation payments, and even litigation. Absenteeism due to illness is also costly, and presenteeism (working while sick) impacts both productivity and safety. Studies show that out of every dollar spent on health care benefits, $0.61 is spent on illness and injury-related absences and reduced work output.

At Acuity, we help organizations overcome these challenges. Using predictive health analytics and anonymized data – including demographics, job titles, worksites, claims data (workers’ compensation and indemnity), employee surveys, and turnover – we provide employers with valuable real-world insights about their populations at risk, such as those with health conditions or propensity for injury, and help them find patterns in this data to inform decision making.

In one engagement, I worked with a client to identify the health issues that were costly to the organization and had the most impact on absenteeism. The client assumed that cancer and heart disease were the most detrimental to productivity and had prioritized awareness around these conditions. But when we studied the data, it transpired that absent employees were largely predisposed to OB/GYN and skin problems – prompting a data-driven shift in the client’s wellness strategy to include family planning and skin cancer screening.

2. Understanding social determinants of health and productivity

Employee productivity, absenteeism, and presenteeism are also subject to societal challenges. We can know an employee’s demographics, health status, and where they spend their healthcare dollars, but what about other factors? For example, Employee A may neglect his health because he is busy caring for his elderly parents. Employee B shares one car with his working spouse, requiring long commutes using limited public transportation. While Employee C is a single parent who skips work on occasion to be present for her children.

With secondary, anonymized societal data sets, employers can more accurately identify the driving factors of lost workplace productivity and get answers to critical questions such as:

  • What factors keep their employees out of work?
  • Which employees are at risk?
  • What programs can be implemented to produce the best outcomes (flexible work arrangements, childcare programs, access to healthcare, dependent care assistance programs, etc.)?

3. Eliminate the guesswork and better manage employee risk

Another beneficial outcome of predictive analytics is that it helps businesses prepare for unforeseen circumstances and disasters that may impact workplace productivity.

For example, organizations can predict whose commute may be impacted by extreme weather by analyzing employee attributes such as home address and vehicle type. If a snowstorm hits, employers can quickly determine who can make it to work safely based on their location and access to a four-wheel-drive vehicle and who will be absent that day. This is especially important to employers who must ensure business continuity, such as federal agencies, law enforcement, critical infrastructure providers, and transportation operators.

4. Leveraging prediction to ensure successful outcomes

Companies have spent years trying to implement programs to address workplace health and safety. Yet these interventions are often generic or broad and not aligned with employee needs.

But by analyzing historical and demographic data, employers in any workplace – from the typical office to field operations teams – can model their workforce at an incredibly granular level. As a result, they can identify the driving factors of workplace incidents and absenteeism, develop targeted prevention strategies, and make informed decisions about procedures and policies to promote business continuity.

While predictive analytics can be challenging (due to large volumes of data from diverse sources, much of which must be anonymized and handled in confidence), predictive analytics ensures workplace leaders can make the most of available data and continuously improve operations and their bottom line.

Work With Us

Want to learn more about how you can utilize predictive analytics to improve health, wellness, and safety in your workplace? Contact us for more information.


About the author:
Dr. Joe Mignogna is Acuity’s Chief Medical Officer.  Connect with him at jmignogna@acuityinternational.com

Dr. Joe Mignogna, MD, MPH, CIME, FACOEM, Chief Medical Officer

Post Hurricane Ian Update: minimal impact to exam mgmt. and services ops. - contact program reps for assistance.
This is default text for notification bar