OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH SAFETY NETWORK (OHSN)

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Within this page, we provide answers to some of the questions we anticipate you may have. This list will be updated with new questions as needed. If you have other questions not addressed here, contact us at NIOSHOHSN@cdc.gov or 513-841-4337.

  1. Does NIOSH plan on providing a tool to help hospitals do this analysis by themselves?
    Not at this time.
  2. Is there any way for hospitals to get their own data back so they can run their own analyses after the system shuts down in September, 2019?
    Users have the ability to export their data from OHSN. If you need assistance with this, please contact us at NIOSHOHSN@cdc.gov.
  3. Why isn’t NIOSH continuing OHSN?
    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which approves all government data collections, placed restrictions on our ability to use the OHSN data. The OMB review indicated that because the information collected by OHSN will not be representative of the larger population of healthcare facilities throughout the US we cannot conduct inter-facility comparisons, a main component of the OHSN model. We have not found a cost-effective approach that will meet the OMB criterion and have decided to stop new enrollments.
  4. Is there a commercial tool NIOSH recommends that could be used as an alternative to OHSN?
    To the best of our knowledge, unfortunately there are no commercial software tools that provide the same functionality and features as OHSN.
  5. What will NIOSH do with the data hospitals submitted over the years?
    We will preserve the data according to our Data Use Agreements and follow appropriate record retention policy to ensure the data’s proper disposition.
  6. What is the last date the OHSN system can be accessed?
    The OHSN system will be retired on September 30, 2019. We will send out reminders to all participating hospitals before then.
  7. Was the main purpose of OHSN to be able to conduct inter-facility comparisons? Or was an equally important aspect to allow individual hospitals to pull data and create intervention plans for themselves to assist with the health and safety of their employees?
    The system was designed for both purposes. The ability for a hospital to compare its performance against other hospitals was an overarching purpose of OHSN. While OHSN has shown it can be a helpful tool for individual participating hospitals, the OMB criterion and the resources required to maintain the system prevent us from continuing support, and so require a halt in enrollment.
Page last reviewed: July 2, 2018