Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Occupational Safety & EHRs

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has requested that the Institute of Medicine’s Board on Health Sciences Policy conduct a study to examine the rationale and feasibility for incorporating work history information into patient electronic health records.

NIOSH want to ensure that the meaningful use of occupational information is included in electronic health records by 2015 which will require the agency to demonstrate feasibility by 2013.

The IOM is planning to hold data-gathering meetings, including a public workshop, conduct analysis, and prepare a letter report with findings and recommendations on the following issues:

• What are the potential benefits for incorporating occupational information in EHRs for individuals and public health officials?
• Are there current systems that incorporate work history into the record that supports clinical decision making and public health reporting activities?
• What are the perceived technical barriers to incorporating work history information into the patient’s EHR?
• What are the barriers to using current systems of coding industry and occupations and what are the alternatives?
• How can the technical issues be addressed by EHR system vendors and researchers?
• What are the next steps to take to advance this effort and what efforts should NIOSH take as well as with non-governmental partners?

For more information email the Study Director, Cathy T. Liverman at