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OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH SAFETY NETWORK (OHSN)

Healthcare Personnel Traumatic Injury Modules

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Why is OHSN starting with the healthcare sector?

Healthcare is a growing industry with a substantial burden of occupational injuries and illnesses. Unique work environments place the more than 18 million workers employed in this industry at risk for both infectious and non-infectious adverse events; however, current occupational surveillance systems are not designed to collect the specific information needed to identify and address the root causes of non-infectious injuries and illnesses among healthcare personnel (HCP). Evidence-based and scalable interventions already exist and can be broadly implemented to prevent these injuries and illnesses. Ongoing OHSN occupational surveillance in the healthcare industry that is easily accessible and user-friendly, can make a difference to guide interventions and monitor their impact.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data indicate that these events are problems in the healthcare sector, but more detailed data are needed to address the problems.

BLS chart

Information needed to identify and address the causes of non-infectious injuries and illnesses among healthcare workers is currently collected by individual facilities or systems using commercial software programs, home-grown software, Microsoft Office programs, or paper records. However, there are no national standards for which data to collect and how to identify these data, so each healthcare facility designs its own method. As a result, it is extremely difficult to directly compare information from different facilities, and facilities are unable to benchmark their injury and illness rates against other healthcare facilities.

With stakeholder input, NIOSH has designed the OHSN Data Elements, a “common language” which allows facilities to directly compare their occupational injury and illness events. These Data Elements can be found under the data plan section of this website. NIOSH has also designed tools to work with local data collection processes to facilitate “translation” of local hospital event data into the OHSN data elements; see more information under the Plan for Data Transmission page.

OHSN Modules: Traumatic Injuries among Healthcare Personnel

NIOSH has developed web-based modules that focus on three high risk and preventable events that can lead to injuries or musculoskeletal disorders among healthcare personnel (HCP):

  • Patient handling and working in awkward postures (overexertion/bodily reaction injuries)
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Workplace violence.

Participating facilities may choose to submit data in one or more of these modules. Facilities may also choose to use OHSN to track general information on other injury and illness events outside of these modules.

Data Elements of OHSN’s Traumatic Injury Modules are designed to answer the following questions (a complete list of data elements is available in the Required Data Elements section):

  • Who was involved in the injury event? (occupation category)
  • Where did the injury event occur? (department)
  • What type of injury event occurred? (e.g., slip, trip, or fall)
  • What caused the injury?
  • How did the injury happen?
  • What is the severity of the injury?
  • Could the injury have been prevented?
 
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  • Page last reviewed: February 26, 2014
  • Page last updated: February 26, 2014
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