*Excerpted from "Work-Related Hospitalizations in Louisiana: A Review of Louisiana Hospital Inpatient Discharge Data for 10 Years (1998-2007)"
; prepared September, 2009. This is the first analysis of work-related injuries and illnesses using data from the Louisiana Hospital Inpatient Discharge Database (LAHIDD) spanning the years 1998 through 2007. The goal of this analysis is to provide information that might contribute to the development of targeted educational and preventative measures to reduce occupational injuries and illnesses for Louisiana workers. Expected payment by workers' compensation insurance (WC) was used as an indicator of a work-related hospitalization. Summary: This analysis demonstrates the usefulness of hospital discharge data for describing the impact of serious work-related injuries, and illnesses on total hospitalizations, as well as for providing information on the demographics of workers affected by these conditions. A wide array of information is available in LAHIDD, including payment, diagnosis and procedure codes, as well as patient characteristics. These data offer details that are not always available from other sources, such as WC records, OSHA workplace injury and illness logs, and population-based studies. LAHIDD data are routinely collected by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals/Office of Public Health and can be used in occupational health surveillance to identify and target work-related conditions. Since records are included for all hospitalizations, regardless of pay, it also provides the opportunity to make comparisons between work-related hospitalizations and total hospitalizations. The results of this analysis led to suggestions for improving LAHIDD data and for future analyses that utilize this data source. Inclusion of occupational information in each record and more frequent reporting of external-cause-of-injury codes ("E-codes") would be valuable changes to the data set. It is also recommended that future investigations examine injury and musculoskeletal hospitalizations in greater detail, since they constitute the majority of work-related cases. Such studies will provide information necessary to help target and implement prevention efforts for high risk occupations and industries, ultimately reducing the burden of work-related injuries and back disorders.