Inputs: NIOSH Strategic Goals
The current NIOSH surveillance strategic goals have evolved from the strategic plan and goals published in 2001: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2001-118/. These evolving goals reflect our long-range vision for a comprehensive occupational surveillance program, reflecting the data and surveillance priorities of the sector and cross-sector programs, while integrating data and information from a coordinated set of complementary surveillance systems. The NIOSH surveillance program seeks to achieve an appropriate balance between national and State-based partnerships, as well as an appropriate balance among health, injury, and hazard surveillance activities. Because no single Federal agency has an exclusive mandate to conduct occupational health and safety surveillance, the NIOSH surveillance program will promote increased coordination and information exchange within NIOSH and among our many partner organizations.
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 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.
NIOSH Surveillance Program Strategic Goals
Federal Surveillance Activities
Strategic Goal 1: Enhance the use of surveillance information at the Federal level for the prevention of occupational injuries, illnesses, and hazards.
Many Federal agencies engage in surveillance activities related to occupational fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. Although communication and collaboration among agencies has improved in recent years, there is a need for better coordination and collaboration of surveillance activities at the Federal level. The Surveillance Strategic Plan recognizes the importance of working with Federal partners to identify and fill data gaps, improve dissemination and use of surveillance information, expand public access to surveillance data, and encourage the inclusion of standardized coding of occupation and industry information in national data systems.
Intermediate goal 1.1 - Enhance the exchange of information and coordination of surveillance activities with Federal partners, including the identification of data gaps and the development of strategies to address these gaps.
Intermediate goal 1.2 - Expand and refine dissemination of surveillance information and access to data for public health action.
Intermediate goal 1.3 - Expand the surveillance of hazards, exposures, and risk factors.
Intermediate goal 1.4 - Encourage the inclusion in information systems of standardized codes and narrative information on work-relatedness, occupation, industry, and circumstances of injury or disease.
Intermediate goal 1.5 - Improve surveillance at the Federal level to measure the economic burden of occupational illnesses, injuries, and fatalities.
Intermediate goal 1.6 - Promote the link between surveillance and intervention activities (i.e., embracing the concept of “Surveillance to Intervention”).
State-Based Surveillance Activities
Strategic Goal 2: Enhance the use of State-level public health surveillance information at both the State and national levels for prevention of occupational illnesses, injuries, and hazards.
The Surveillance Strategic Plan recognizes that States have a vital role to play in the surveillance of occupational injuries, illnesses, and hazards. Under the Surveillance Strategic Plan, State-based surveillance systems and activities will provide a vital foundation for several Federal surveillance systems and will augment other Federal surveillance systems. In the long-range vision of an improved, comprehensive, nationwide occupational health surveillance program, all States will have the core capacity to conduct surveillance of occupational injuries, diseases, and hazards that will contribute to State and local prevention efforts, as well as to national data concerning magnitude, trend, and distribution. In addition, States will also have the capacity to conduct focused in-depth surveillance, follow-up investigations, and intervention for selected, targeted conditions (diseases, injuries, or hazards). Given inevitable resource constraints, it is not realistic to expect all States to conduct in-depth surveillance for all occupational conditions at the present time.
Intermediate goal 2.1 - Enhance and expand the development of State-based public health surveillance systems through State-based surveillance for the prevention of occupational illnesses, injuries, and hazards.
Intermediate goal 2.2 - Improve nationwide use of state-level occupational health surveillance data and information for decision-making regarding research and intervention activities.
Intermediate goal 2.3 - Expand State-based surveillance programs of selected occupational conditions or hazards, and population at high risk including special populations.
Intermediate goal 2.4 - Promote and support State-based intervention activities to address identified problems.
Intermediate goal 2.5 - Improve surveillance at the State level to measure the economic burden of occupational illnesses, injuries, and fatalities.
Surveillance of NORA Sectors
Strategic Goal 3: Develop and strengthen the use of surveillance data to identify priorities, trends, and emerging issues within:
- Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing
- Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities
- Wholesale and Retail Trade
- Health Care and Social Assistance
Intermediate goal 3.1 - Conduct analyses of existing surveillance data and related information to identify research and intervention priorities.
Intermediate goal 3.2- Continue and enhance existing surveillance activities to track priority injuries, illnesses, hazards, and risk factors.
Intermediate goal 3.3 - Develop new activities to expand the scope of surveillance for priority conditions not covered by existing surveillance activities.
Intermediate goal 3.4 - Enhance the use surveillance activities to identify and report on previously unrecognized and emerging occupational injury, illness, and hazard risks.
Intermediate goal 3.5 - Improve surveillance within the private sector to measure the economic burden of occupational illnesses, injuries, and fatalities.
Intermediate goal 3.6 - Strengthen surveillance of high risk occupations, including special populations.
Private Sector Surveillance Activities
Strategic Goal 4: Promote occupational safety and health surveillance conducted by employers, unions, and other non-governmental organizations.
This Surveillance Strategic Plan recognizes that many day-to-day occupational health monitoring and surveillance activities are, and should be, conducted by employers, health care professionals and institutions, and unions. New technologies and changes in health care delivery offer new opportunities for surveillance activities. There is a tremendous amount of work outside of occupational health being done to develop health information/surveillance systems, and NIOSH recognized the importance of this work in designing its strategic plan. In fact, one goal in this Surveillance Strategic Plan is to identify those private sector individuals, institutions, groups, and organizations that are involved in successful surveillance programs, to learn from them, and to share their tools and effective prevention activities.
Intermediate goal 4.1 - Identify best practices for occupational surveillance of illnesses, injuries, and hazards at the company, union, and/or industry sector level.
Intermediate goal 4.2 - Develop and evaluate methods for occupational illness, injury, and hazard surveillance at the company, union, and/or industry sector level.
Intermediate goal 4.3 - Support the development and implementation of surveillance tools for use by health care professionals and institutions.
Intermediate goal 4.4 - Promote the link between surveillance and intervention activities (i.e., embracing the concept of “Surveillance to Intervention”).
Occupational Surveillance Research
Strategic Goal 5: Increase research to improve occupational surveillance.
Occupational safety and health surveillance presents a host of methodologic and other challenges. Research is needed to evaluate existing surveillance systems and approaches. New approaches must be developed to capture the experience of special populations and the growing number of workers who participate in nontraditional work arrangements, such as contingent, temporary, and contract workers, as well as part-time workers and multiple-job holders. The use of nontraditional data sources may be especially helpful for these surveillance efforts, but they are virtually unexplored. Recognizing these needs, the Surveillance Strategic Plan specifically includes a goal to enhance occupational safety and health surveillance research in the coming years.
Intermediate goal 5.1 - Conduct and support research to evaluate existing surveillance systems.
Intermediate goal 5.2 - Support the development of new approaches for occupational surveillance.
Intermediate goal 5.3 - Support follow-back investigations and focused surveys of groups at high risk and special populations, in order to supplement existing surveillance data.
NIOSH Surveillance Program Priority Strategic Goals for Extramural Research
The NIOSH Surveillance Program selected the following strategic goals as particularly suited for extramural research during fiscal years 2014-16:
- Strategic Goal 2: Enhance the use of State-level public health surveillance information at both the State and national levels for prevention of occupational illnesses, injuries, and hazards.
- Strategic Goal 5: Enhance the use of surveillance information at the Federal level for the prevention of occupational injuries, illnesses, and hazards.
Those seeking NIOSH grants to conduct studies related to the Surveillance Program can view the current funding opportunities.
NIOSH is interested in your opinions about the relevance and value of strategic goals for the Surveillance Program. We encourage you to consider partnering with us on issues of interest to you and your organization.
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