Custom Reporting Engine Saves 500 Hours of Report Build Time for Employee Wellness Recommendation Program

Corporate wellness programs have become increasingly popular in recent years and the seriousness of employee health has only become more urgent in the age of COVID-19. According to 2017 data, mental illness affects 1 in 5 adults per year in the United States. As more and more employees work from home, despite the conveniences this can bring, it has created a number of challenges. Lack of childcare, increased family responsibilities, financial concerns, stress, and other health issues are all factors that can negatively impact employee productivity. 


Our client, a San Diego area health tech company, had a vision to start a pilot to send test kits to employees to measure several factors of their health and then recommend the best-fit employee wellness programs for that company. We kicked off this partnership at the beginning of 2019 with the deadline set for mid-November. The deliverable was a corporate website for companies to access customized reports about the best wellness and health programs to offer their employees. The reporting outcomes were based on collected data from individual home test kits on factors such as cholesterol and cortisol levels, as well as a stress survey.  


Corporate Wellness Reporting Lifecycle

Our work focused on building a corporate website that aggregated reports from individual health test results so companies could advise on the best wellness program for their employees. However, before proceeding, it’s helpful to understand a few key features about the proposed wellness reporting lifecycle. Here’s an overview of that process:


Employees take a home health test, send it off to a lab, and obtain the results directly via an individual dashboard. This is in keeping with HIPAA compliance.

If the system flags any health concerns, it will suggest an intervention program to follow (e.g., high cholesterol).

The individual health test data is then aggregated on the client’s corporate website and automatically turned into a series of consolidated reports. FDA approval was not required in this case since no patient IDs were involved; the samples were considered “donor” samples.

Companies can then login and view reports for their employees in order to make informed, data-driven decisions about the best workplace wellness program to offer


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From the outset of the project, our engineering team faced a number of business and technical challenges, including how to integrate the new corporate reporting website with two additional websites. One was an internal website, which manages the home health kit testing. The second was an external website belonging to a third-party partner that administers corporate wellness programs. 


Our primary goals were to gain the client’s trust and demonstrate our one-team mentality. Through a rigorous process of onsite discussions, narrowing the business focus, building the software requirements, integrating data, and customized coding, we succeeded and successfully delivered the reporting platform on time and budget.  


The Integration Challenge 

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Here’s a summary of the corporate reporting workflow, which illustrates the multiple ways the different systems communicated to ensure the reporting engine worked properly. 


  1. Third-party wellness administrator places the employees CSV on the FTP, to be imported into the health test site database. The file format is CSV encrypted with OpenPGP.
  2. Corporate website synchronizes the newly saved users from health test site database.  
  3. Corporate website sends the new saved test order into health test site database.  
  4. Corporate website is synchronized with the newly saved test and questionnaire results from health test site database.  
  5. Corporate website exports test and questionnaire reports daily to a third-party wellness site through the FTP folder.  


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Reporting Engine: Structure & Maintainability

We developed a corporate website providing a series of 37 customized employer reports that recommend the best match health and wellness plan for their employees. The initial estimate was that each report would take 16 hours of manual effort, or a total of 592 hours. However, our automated reporting engine reduced that number by 500 hours – and a fraction of the time for each report.  

How It Works

The report will aggregate results by matching specimen (or test) IDs with a companyID for a particular category of test kits. For example, those individuals that have submitted stress and sleep test kits will be aggregated together to show the number of employees with cortisol (‘stress’) levels in the high or low range. This information will be used to determine which groups are experiencing high amounts of stress at work and discovering which corporate health and wellness programs are best suited for them. 

Underlying Technologies

The reporting portal was built with C# using a Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework, and Microsoft SQL server and MySQL for the databases.   


The requested reporting tool was ChartJS, an open source HTML5 charting framework. Our team ran into some initial challenges with this tool and were unable to implement a lot of the desired features. However, our engineers innovatively coded on top of the ChartJS stock libraries to boost the functionality and provide the aggregated reports they needed. 

Maintainability

The reporting portal was designed from the beginning with a strong focus on maintainability. It had to work and work well at all times. To illustrate, after the portal was deployed, the client needed three new reports. Our team designed it with reusable components. Instead of writing new code, this meant that any adjustment simply required adding a row in the database to create the report name and link it to the desired subjects.  

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The reporting engine that we built illustrates a number of tangible ways companies can more effectively improve employee wellness. 

Reporting Engine Benefits & Outcomes

Our client had a vision: make it easier for employees to find corporate wellness plans that match their unique health needs. By translating our client’s complex business requirement into technical specifications, we were able to access and leverage important health data. This gives companies access to accurate and precise measurements that make it easier to detect employee health risks and recommend new lifestyle choices. 

Employee Wellness Made Easy

By using the latest technologies to automate the consolidation of employee health reports, we were able to help our client save significant amounts of time. Rather than building each corporate report individually, we freed up our client for more meaningful and innovative work. Since time is money, this translates into significant cost savings over the long run. 

Healthy Work Life Balance 

 Better ROI

There’s an increasing push today for individuals to take ownership of their health management. But that doesn’t stop when your work day begins. Gaining firsthand customized insights into employee health can help early detection of serious medical issues, and more timely recommendations for healthy lifestyle choices. This information can help employees live a more holistic, fulfilling life while saving their company significant amounts of money in lost productivity.  

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We’ve shared the story of the corporate wellness reporting engine we built for our health tech client, the project lifecycle and underlying structure and technologies, and the benefits and insights we learned along the way. The full case study can also be found here. Thanks to the program’s success, plans are now in place to launch this initiative for three companies as a proof of concept (PoC) to gather more feedback.  


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