To achieve maximum participation by all US healthcare facilities, no matter how they are currently collecting occupational safety and health data, NIOSH offers multiple mechanisms for data transmission to OHSN. NIOSH is currently working with major vendors and leaders from healthcare facilities to adapt their software so that files containing the required data for OHSN can be exported from systems already in use, rather than requiring duplicate data entry into multiple systems from participants.
However, changes to existing software will take time to accomplish. During the interim, NIOSH is supporting alternate methods for data transmission.
NIOSH and partners (including the Association of Occupational Health Professionals in Healthcare (AOHP), the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine-Medical Center Occupational Health Section (ACOEM-MCOH), and individual healthcare facilities) have finalized the data elements to be included in the Traumatic Injury Modules of the OHSN database based on input from subject matter experts and stakeholders. The finalized data elements are the centerpiece around which the compatibility tools for the OHSN Traumatic Injury Modules have been developed. These data elements were refined after vetting with sample data from healthcare facilities, in cooperation with major software vendors, to confirm that OHSN data requirements are achievable.
NIOSH has developed a standard Excel template with the defined standard data elements and the standard value sets for each element. Facilities may choose to download the Excel file and directly enter the event data using drop-down menus with the OHSN data elements. (Scenario #1).
Alternatively, an Excel file in the required format can be produced via export features of most commercial software used by healthcare facilities (Scenario #2). Once these data are in an Excel file, the OHSN Conversion Tool will assist users to “map” or match their local terms to OHSN data elements and value sets.
In either Scenario #1 or Scenario #2, healthcare facilities can transmit their data files to OHSN after converting these data from Excel to XML with the OHSN Conversion Tool. The OHSN Conversion Tool prepares the data for import to OHSN and performs data validation, giving the user immediate feedback on any data issues. With these two scenarios, any healthcare facility with the ability to generate an Excel file will be able to participate in OHSN without having to purchase a particular commercial software product.
The OHSN Team has been collaborating with vendors of commercial occupational health software programs to adapt these programs to create OHSN-compatible files. Guidance, known as the NIOSH Standard Occupational Data Architecture (SODA), has been drafted to guide developers of commercial and noncommercial occupational health surveillance software on ways to incorporate OHSN data requirements into their existing applications.
OHSN will enable researchers to calculate rates of specific types of events by hospital size/type, occupation category, contributing factors, and activities related to specific injuries.
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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