As employers experience higher data levels within benefits, human resources, safety and operational departments, an employer can use a limited set of population health metrics to emphasize top indicators of health, care and treatment as well as lagging health indicators, according to Data Strategies for Managing Health and Productivity by the Integrated Benefits Institute.

Based on these metrics, an employer can communicate health strategies and business-relevant outcomes to senior management, benefits program administrators and business operations leaders, finds the report, which includes three case studies on best-practice employers: American Express, O'Neal Industries and Barrette Outdoor Living.

"Employers know that the impact of work force health goes far beyond expenses for medical care," says Thomas Parry, Ph.D., president of IBI. "At the same time, employers often don't know what to ask for, are inundated with health-related benefits program data they don't need or can't get the data they do need to make good decisions. This report gives concrete examples on how companies are managing health-related and productivity data to drive business results."

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