About OHSN

two occupational safety and health nurses using OHSN to identify injury trends among their healthcare workers

Why Was OHSN Established?

Healthcare is a growing industry with a substantial burden of occupational injuries and illnesses.  In 2013, one in five workers in the healthcare and social assistance industry reported nonfatal job-related injuries. This is the highest number of non-fatal injuries reported among all private industries.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data indicate that infectious and non-infectious events occur in the healthcare sector, but current occupational surveillance systems are not designed to collect the specific information needed to identify and address the root causes of non-fatal injuries and non-infectious or chronic illnesses among healthcare workers. OHSN allows for ongoing occupational surveillance in healthcare that is easily accessible and user-friendly. OHSN can guide interventions and objectively monitor their impact.

The Impact of OHSN

OHSN will have direct impact among participating healthcare facilities and help to achieve widespread compatibility in occupational safety and health surveillance data among U.S. healthcare facilities.

  • For Healthcare Workers
    OHSN will help improve your workplace safety by monitoring to prevent the most common injuries at your facility. OHSN can be used to identify what and where injuries occur most often in your facility. OHSN can be used by your mangers to identify and address safety concerns occurring among the staff, thus providing data to prevent common injuries. OHSN is meant to help protect YOU first and foremost.
  • For Occupational Health Nurses
    OHSN will make injury tracking and reporting easier for you. Your facility may already have practices in place to monitor injuries, but OHSN takes your data a step further to allow you to monitor trends over time, guide interventions, and measure impact. OHSN gives you the ability to analyze your injury data to see what, where and how injuries are occurring most frequently each month. You can compare these injury rates over time to see if interventions are working. You can also compare to other participating facilities to gauge how your facility is doing overall. This can all be done using data you are already collecting. OHSN is meant to improve the safety of your workers, and make your job easier.
  • For Medical Directors and Facility Management
    OHSN will make it easier for your facility to provide timely and customized reports and information needed to meet OSHA regulatory and Joint Commission accreditation requirements. In addition to being free and ensuring data security and confidentiality, OHSN allows your facility to produce output reports that visually show your facility’s progress in addressing its most prominent workplace safety and health concerns. OHSN is an innovative tool that helps ensure your facility is a safe work environment.

History of OHSN

In developing OHSN, we collaborated with CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). NHSN’s system primarily focuses on patient safety, but also tracks infectious disease issues among healthcare workers. Like NHSN, OHSN is also a surveillance system intended to improve safety in healthcare; however, OHSN aims to improve the safety of healthcare workers.

In July 2013, OHSN enrollment began. The program is open to all types of inpatient healthcare facilities in the United States. We collaborated with healthcare facilities, software vendors, and other stakeholders to create standard data elements and value sets that align with the information most commonly collected already at the facility level. We also created tools that will allow healthcare facilities to convert their existing data to OHSN data elements for benchmarking. We are working with private sector vendors so facilities that use commercially-available systems to collect their data, will be able to easily upload their data into OHSN.

Page last reviewed: September 23, 2015