For those infection preventionists who also work in employee health, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is forming a new electronic, voluntary, and secure surveillance system to track occupational injuries to health care workers.
The Occupational Health and Safety Network (OHSN) will integrate a wide variety of ongoing occupational health surveillance activities and make it easier to identify effective prevention strategies, NIOSH says.
This first version of OHSN deals with work-related injuries to healthcare personnel. Modules addressing other industry sectors may be added in the future.
How might OHSN benefit healthc are facilities?
Well, OHSN lets you:
• Benchmark your facility’s rates and trends against data from similar facilities, letting you see how your facility is doing.
• Compare patterns of injuries (e.g., risk factors, types of healthcare personnel involved, circumstances leading to injuries)
• Identify effective intervention approaches shared by NIOSH and other OHSN participating facilities – and add your own facility’s best practices
• Assess the impact of your prevention efforts on traumatic injuries over time
• Track your own data to meet the requirements of OSHA and The Joint Commission
→NIOSH will work with you on integrating the collection of data required for OHSN into your current process to minimize your effort.
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Who can get involved in OHSN?
• Occupational health professionals in the healthcare industry – the intended users of OHSN
• Other organizations and groups interested in the health and safety of healthcare personnel – Please pass along this information and the OHSN website to your contacts!
• Beginning the end of 2012/early 2013, all types of ambulatory and inpatient healthcare facilities in the U.S. can enroll, including acute care hospitals, long-term acute care hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals, outpatient dialysis centers, ambulatory surgery centers, outpatient clinics, and long-term care facilities.
How can you get involved?
Learn more about OHSN at strong>/
Open enrollment for OHSN begins soon (end of 2012/beginning of 2013))
Right now, NIOSH is seeking facilities to test the data transmission process.
To be considered as a testing facility, or to ask questions, contact:
Ahmed Gomaa, MD, ScD, MSPH: AGomaa@cdc.gov
Sara Luckhaupt, MD, MPH: SLuckhaupt@cdc.gov
OHSN Team: NIOSHOHSN@cdc.gov
Hospital Infection Control & Prevention has been the leading source for news and comment on health care epidemiology for 38 years. With the HICprevent blog site we extend our coverage and commentary on this dynamic field, opening a new dialogue with infection preventionists, health care epidemiologists and others seeking solutions to one of the most vexing problems in patient safety: health care associated infections. HICprevent welcomes your comments, questions, tips and strategies for infection prevention.