Use of statewide electronic emergency department data for occupational injury surveillance: a feasibility study in Massachusetts.
Davis-LK; Hunt-PR; Hackman-HH; McKeown-LN; Ozonoff-VV
Am J Ind Med 2012 Apr; 55(4):344-352
Background: Statewide datasets of emergency department (ED) visits may be useful for occupational injury surveillance. Using data from 12 hospitals, we evaluated two indicators of work-relatedness in reported ED data and the availability of employment information in medical charts. Methods: Workers' compensation as payer and/or ''yes'' in an injury-at-work field were used to define probable work-related (PWR) injury visits in the Massachusetts ED dataset. Charts were reviewed for a sample of 1,002 PWR and 250 probable nonwork- related (PNWR) cases. Results: Using chart information as the gold standard, indicators of work-relatedness had a sensitivity of 82%, specificity of 97%, and predictive value positive of 86%. Employer name was in charts for 89% of PWR and 42% of PNWR cases. Occupation was available for 34% of PWR cases. Conclusion: Electronic ED data are useful for state surveillance of occupational injuries. Improvements in attribution of work-relatedness and collection of available employer identifiers and occupational information would enhance its usefulness. The performance of indicators of work-relatedness in ED datasets should be examined in different states.
Epidemiology; Surveillance-programs; Injuries; Information-systems; Emergency-treatment; Health-care-facilities; Data-processing; Computers; Electronic-devices; Qualitative-analysis;
Author Keywords: occupational injury; surveillance; emergency department data
Letitia K. Davis, ScD, EdM, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 250 Washington St., Sixth Floor, Boston, MA 02108
Research Tools and Approaches: Surveillance Research Methods
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Massachusetts State Department of Public Health