An evaluation of New Jersey's hospital discharge database for surveillance of severe occupational injuries.
Sorock-GS; Smith-E; Hall-N
Am J Ind Med 1993 Mar; 23(3):427-437
This report evaluated the utility of the hospital discharge database which exists in the state of New Jersey to perform surveillance of five selected injuries occurring at work during 1985 or 1986. The injuries included finger amputation, thumb amputation, crush injury of the lower limb, intoxication due to heavy metals, and eye burns. The two major questions addressed were whether there was enough information on the hospital discharge database to identify work related injuries, and whether the external cause of injury information was coded as E-codes. Whether there was enough information as to the external cause of the injury to permit assigning E-codes was also examined. The study indicated that while the hospital discharge database in New Jersey could be used for surveillance of hospitalized severe occupational injuries, it also had major limitations with respect to understanding why these injuries occurred. The worker's compensation codes were useful as a good to excellent proxy indicator of the work relatedness of certain of these injuries. The basic demographic variables allowed calculations to be made of rate, age, and sex in relation to specific injuries. Further epidemiologic study was possible based on the current records. The limitations of the database included the facts that the personal identifying information for contacting injured workers was not present on the record, only the most severe cases were captured by the database, and there was a paucity of E- code information.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Traumatic-injuries; Accident-analysis; Hand-injuries; Information-processing; Leg-injuries; Eye-damage; Information-retrieval-systems; Injury-prevention; Toxic-effects; Occupational-accidents
State Dept of Health NJ State Dept of Health Div of Occupation & Envir Hlth Trenton, NJ 08625
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
New Jersey State Dept of Health, Trenton, New Jersey