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Work-related hospitalizations in Louisiana: a review of Louisiana hospital inpatient discharge data for 10 years (1998-2007).

Locklin-C; Lackovic-M
Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals, 2009 Sep; 1-17
This report presents the first analysis of work-related injuries and illnesses in Louisiana using hospital discharge data. The goal of this analysis is to provide information that might contribute to the development of targeted educational and preventive measures to reduce occupational injuries and illnesses for Louisiana workers. Data from the Louisiana Hospital Inpatient Discharge Database (LAHIDD) spanning the years 1998 through 2007 were analyzed. Expected payment by workers' compensation insurance (WC) was used as an indicator of a work-related hospitalization. Some important findings of this study include: There were a total of 23,668 work-related inpatient hospitalizations from 1998 to 2007, representing 0.46% of total inpatient hospitalizations of Louisiana residents. Workers 65 years or older make up less than 4.7% of the working population in Louisiana but have the highest rates of work-related hospitalizations of all age groups. Injuries accounted for 38% of hospitalizations, followed by disorders of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissues (34%). Conditions of the respiratory system led to the highest mean cost, and the second longest mean hospital stay. This study demonstrates that LAHIDD data are useful for describing serious occupational health conditions among Louisiana workers. LAHIDD provides information that is significant to public health surveillance, including some information that is not recorded in other data sources. The data are routinely collected and include information on patient demographics, diagnoses and procedures, payment source, length of stay, and total cost. Data are also useful for comparing work-related conditions to conditions in the general population, as it includes records on all hospitalizations, regardless of payment source. Some limitations need to be considered in the interpretation of the results of this study. Use of expected payment by workers' compensation as an indicator of work-relatedness presents problems due to under-reporting, misclassification, and changes in final payment source. Population-based rates may also be problematic, as some Louisiana residents seek treatment at facilities in other states. The results of this analysis led to suggestions for improving LAHIDD data, and for future analyses that utilize this data source. Inclusion of occupational information in each record and more frequent reporting of external-cause-of-injury codes ("E-codes") would be valuable changes to the data set. It is also recommended that future investigations examine injury and musculoskeletal hospitalizations in greater detail, since they constitute the majority of work-related cases.
Surveillance-programs; Emergency-treatment; Medical-treatment; Health-care; Medical-care; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Age-groups
Michelle Lackovic, Louisiana Office of Public Health - Infectious Disease Epidemiology Section P.O. Box 60630, New Orleans, LA 70160
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Work-related hospitalizations in Louisiana: a review of Louisiana hospital inpatient discharge data for 10 years (1998-2007
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Louisiana State Office of Public Health