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HEALTHCARE AND SOCIAL ASSISTANCE

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Inputs: NIOSH Strategic Goals

The NIOSH Healthcare and Social Assistance Program has developed strategic goals to guide our research and partnership efforts over the next decade.

NIOSH previously used priority topic areas (e.g., traumatic injury, hearing loss) to guide research efforts. Goals take this approach a step further by identifying specific outcomes that NIOSH wants to target, performance measures for evaluating progress in meeting the outcome goals, and intermediate goals to describe the necessary steps that need to be performed to accomplish the goal. Setting goals is challenging for the following reasons:

  • It forces us to focus on a subgroup of issues where we think NIOSH can make an impact - a long list would spread our resources too thin to accomplish the goals. Not every worthwhile topic can be included.
  • It is difficult to develop performance measures. Available injury statistics have limitations, and exposure and health outcome measures are typically not available.
  • It is ambitious for NIOSH to set goals to achieve outcomes such as reductions in a national fatality rate. NIOSH is a research agency, so we don't often directly influence outcomes - we must partner well and influence other groups to show results.

NIOSH Program Portfolio Approach

NIOSH has been organizing research, guidance, information, and service efforts into specific programs that can be readily communicated and strategically governed and evaluated. Ten Sector Programs represent industrial sectors, and twenty-four Cross-sector Programs are organized around adverse health outcomes, statutory programs and global efforts.

The Sector Programs intersect with Cross-Sector Programs in a matrix-like fashion. For example, an Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Program goal of reducing farm-related deaths and injuries due to tractor rollovers and trucks would likely be a shared goal with the Transportation Program and if appropriate would be adopted by both programs. This approach provides an added advantage and will allow multiple Programs to work towards accomplishment of intersecting goals.

Each of the 34 programs in the NIOSH Program Portfolio has a Manager and Coordinator. Each of the 10 NIOSH Sector Programs facilitates the work of a NORA Sector Council to engage external stakeholders in the process of developing sector goals for the nation and methods to measure the short-term, intermediate and long-term outcomes arising from those goals. The NORA goals for the nation will be considered when choosing NIOSH sector program goals. Cross Sector programs have internal Steering Committees that develop program goals and monitor outcome measures.

These planning efforts will position NIOSH to align with the most current governmental approaches for evaluating program effectiveness, i.e., the Program Assessment Rating Tool (or PART). PART is a mechanism to hold governmental agencies accountable for accomplishing results. As part of our comprehensive approach to performance measurement, NIOSH has engaged the National Academies to independently evaluate our sector and cross-programs for relevance and impact.


Healthcare and Social Assistance (HCSA) Goals for Intramural Research

The NORA HCSA Sector Council recently developed a research agenda for the nation to guide research and research-to-practice. This National Healthcare and Social Assistance Agenda focuses on the question: What information is needed to reliably protect caregivers’ health and safety and, at the same time, ensure patient safety given the high hazard nature and risk of injury in this critical work sector? The Agenda consists of ten strategic goals designed to address top safety and health concerns and to promote the greatest opportunities to advance protections within the HCSA Industrial Sector. Implementation of this Agenda will lead to greater awareness of issues, more widespread implementation of best practices, and development of new ways to protect HCSA workers to the benefit of them and those they serve. The HCSA Program chose these goals to target NIOSH efforts:

  • Strategic Goal 1: Promote safe and healthy workplaces and optimize safety culture in healthcare organizations.
  • Strategic Goal 2: Reduce the incidence and severity of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among workers in the healthcare and social assistance (HCSA) sector.
  • Strategic Goal 3: Reduce or eliminate exposures and adverse health effects caused by hazardous drugs and other chemicals.
  • Strategic Goal 4: Reduce sharps injuries and their impacts among all healthcare personnel.
  • Strategic Goal 5: STOP transmission of infectious diseases in healthcare and social assistance settings among workers, patients and visitors.
  • Strategic Goal 6: Minimize or prevent occupational exposure of veterinary medicine and animal care (VM/AC) personnel to zoonotic diseases.
  • Strategic Goal 7: Reduce the occurrence of the most common injury hazards among VM/AC personnel.
  • Strategic Goal 8: Minimize or prevent occupational exposures to respiratory hazards and resulting adverse health effects among veterinary medicine and animal care (VM/AC) personnel.
  • Strategic Goal 9: Reduce potential reproductive hazards and their impacts among VM/AC personnel.
  • Strategic Goal 10: Reduce physical hazards and their impacts among VM/AC workers.

Information on performance measures, intermediate goals and/or activity/output goals associated with each of the five strategic goals is provided in the  HCSA National Research Agenda .


HCSA Program Priority Goals for Extramural Research

The HCSA Program selected the following priority goals as particularly suited for extramural research during fiscal years 2014-16:

  • Strategic Goal 1: Promote safe and healthy workplaces and optimize safety culture in healthcare organizations.
  • Strategic Goal 2: Reduce the incidence and severity of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among workers in the healthcare and social assistance (HCSA) sector.
  • Strategic Goal 3: Reduce or eliminate exposures and adverse health effects caused by hazardous drugs and other chemicals.
  • Strategic Goal 4: Reduce sharps injuries and their impacts among all healthcare personnel.
  • Strategic Goal 5: STOP transmission of infectious diseases in HCSA settings among workers, patients and visitors.

Those seeking NIOSH grants to conduct studies benefiting workers in the healthcare and social assistance sector can view the current funding opportunities.

NIOSH is interested in your opinions about the relevance and value of these strategic goals for the healthcare and social assistance sector. We encourage you to consider partnering with us on issues of interest to you and your organization.

 

 
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  • Page last reviewed: September 27, 2013
  • Page last updated: September 27, 2013
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