4 Terrifying Situations of Failed Biometric Screenings: Part 1

When trying to engage employees in your wellness programs, botched biometric screenings are particularly counterproductive. We get it. When clients run to us looking for refuge from bad screening experiences, they usually share their prior horror stories. In the spirit of learning from the mistakes of others, we are passing a few of these anecdotes along to you, hoping it creates awareness so these don’t happen to you.

disheveled EMT working an onsite biometric screening event1. I Haven’t Slept in over 24 Hours; Come Here and Let Me Stick You

One very large retail store client shared with us the story of a tired and disheveled EMT who had just come off a 12-hour night shift. He sat across from the participants from whom he was about to draw blood, looking at them with dark circles under his glazed over, expressionless eyes, and he told them about his escapades during the night and how tired he was. Not exactly comforting to the person who is about to be stuck by the needle held in his questionable hands.

At this same event, other staff members did not show up and not even the screening vendor was aware until it was too late. The inappropriate EMT couldn’t be relieved, and there were long lines and wait problems from start to finish.

This could have been avoided by not relying on staffing agencies and by sending extra staff to each event as a built-in contingency as part of normal operating procedure. It is a good idea to ensure your screening partners do not use agencies and require service level guarantees on staffing levels at each event.

surprise state inspection at an onsite biometric screening event2. Surprise!!…State Inspection…Go Ahead and Shut Down the Event

A retail chain on the east coast fired their screening vendor because several events were cancelled 1 hour into the second day of screening by the State of Maryland. The reason? The vendor did not pass the random state inspection, because they were passing out healthy snacks and bottled water in the screening room.

Most commonly, we hear that screening vendors do not even file with the states, letting regulators know about their events. Surprise inspections, in that case, also result in shut down and fines.

It is important that a screening vendor not be ignorant of those state requirements that surpass federal regulations. These situations can be prevented by requiring your vendor to understand and show you applicable state regulations for your events and by providing a single point of contact for your sites.

incentives miscalculated by onsite biometric screening vendor3. Everyone’s Paychecks Are Wrong!

A manufacturing client, who had implemented outcomes based incentives, had to retroactively adjust payroll checks on thousands of employees. 1,026 employees had to be paid more and over 2,000 employees had to be told that their next 6 paychecks would be $100 lower than normal.

The vendor computed the incentive calculations on a spreadsheet and didn’t, at least, check their work by sampling the results of the wellness program managers who had hired them.

One thing that can be done is to require the vendor to calculate incentives programmatically and place a service level guarantee on correct incentive calculation.

surprise items on invoice from onsite biometric screening vendor4. Perfect…Another Bombshell…$70,000 Invoice for WHAT?????

A large global energy employer had decided to do biometric screenings in the beginning of the year and then offer wellness programs based on what the data indicated. The employer told us that their data analysis was delayed by 2 months, and travel and other ancillary fees in the fine print of the contract cost the company an extra $68,000 or roughly $14.00 more per participant then what was budgeted.

Obviously the fine print was not estimated and communicated up front. One good idea is to ask for an estimate of what ancillary fees will be and/or ask for an all inclusive price per participant up front.


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