Advertisement

Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 99, Issue 6, pp 478–482 | Cite as

Bridging the Knowledge Gap

An Innovative Surveillance System to Monitor the Health of British Columbia’s Healthcare Workforce
  • Tony Gilligan
  • Hasanat Alamgir
Article

Abstract

Objective

Healthcare workers are exposed to a variety of work-related hazards including biological, chemical, physical, ergonomic, psychological hazards; and workplace violence. The Occupational Health and Safety Agency for Healthcare in British Columbia (OHSAH), in conjunction with British Columbia (BC) health regions, developed and implemented a comprehensive surveillance system that tracks occupational exposures and stressors as well as injuries and illnesses among a defined population of healthcare workers.

Intervention

Workplace Health Indicator Tracking and Evaluation (WHITE™) is a secure operational database, used for data entry and transaction reporting. It has five modules: Incident Investigation, Case Management, Employee Health, Health and Safety, and Early Intervention/Return to Work.

Outcomes

Since the WHITE™ database was first introduced into BC in 2004, it has tracked the health of 84,318 healthcare workers (120,244 jobs), representing 35,927 recorded incidents, resulting in 18,322 workers’ compensation claims. Currently, four of BC’s six healthcare regions are tracking and analyzing incidents and the health of healthcare workers using WHITE™, providing OHSAH and healthcare stakeholders with comparative performance indicators on workplace health and safety. A number of scientific manuscripts have also been published in peer-reviewed journals.

Conclusion

The WHITE™ database has been very useful for descriptive epidemiological studies, monitoring health risk factors, benchmarking, and evaluating interventions.

Keywords

Healthcare surveillance occupational health evidence evaluation health and safety 

Résumé

Objectif

Les travailleurs de la santé sont exposés à toutes sortes de dangers (biologiques, chimiques, physiques, ergonomiques, psychologiques) liés à leur emploi, ainsi qu’à la violence au travail. Conjointement avec l’Université de la Colombie-Britannique (UBC) et les régions sanitaires de la province, l’OHSAH (l’agence de la sécurité et de la santé au travail de la Colombie- Britannique pour le milieu des soins de santé) a mis au point et instauré un système de surveillance intégré des cas d’exposition professionnelle, des agents stressants, des blessures et des maladies dans une population de travailleurs de la santé bien définie.

Intervention

Une base de données opérationnelles sécurisée, Workplace Health Indicator Tracking and Evaluation (WHITEMC), sert à entrer des données et à produire des rapports d’opérations. Elle comprend cinq modules (enquête sur les incidents, gestion de cas, santé des employés, santé et sécurité, et intervention précoce/retour au travail).

Résultats

Depuis son lancement en Colombie-Britannique en 2004, la base WHITEMC a suivi l’état de santé de 84 318 travailleurs de la santé (120 244 emplois), lesquels ont déclaré 35 927 incidents qui ont donné lieu à 18 322 demandes d’indemnisation. À l’heure actuelle, quatre des six régions sanitaires de la province suivent et analysent les incidents et l’état de santé des travailleurs de la santé à l’aide de WHITEMC, ce qui offre à l’OHSAH et aux intervenants de la santé des indicateurs de rendement comparatifs sur la santé et la sécurité au travail. Des manuscrits scientifiques ont aussi été publiés dans des revues évaluées par des pairs.

Conclusion

La base de données WHITEMC s’avère très utile pour les études épidémiologiques descriptives, la surveillance des facteurs de risque pour la santé, l’étalonnage, ainsi que l’évaluation des mesures d’intervention.

Mots clés

soins de santé surveillance santé au travail preuves évaluation santé et sécurité 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    BC Statistics. Available online at: https://doi.org/www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/data/dd/handout/naicsann.pdf (Accessed May 17, 2007).
  2. 2.
    de Castro AB, Hagan P, Nelson A. Prioritizing safe patient handling: The American Nurses Association’s Handle With Care Campaign. J Nurs Adm 2006;36(7-8):363–69.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Beekmann SE, Henderson DK. Protection of healthcare workers from bloodborne pathogens. Curr Opin Infect Dis 2005;18(4):331–36.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ruggiero JS. Health, work variables, and job satisfaction among nurses. J Nurs Adm 2005;35(5):254–63.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    WorkSafeBC Statistics, 2006. Available online at: https://doi.org/www.worksafebc.com/publications/reports/statistics_reports/assets/pdf/stats2006.pdf (Accessed May 22, 2007).
  6. 6.
    OHSAH, completed research. Available online at: https://doi.org/www.ohsah.bc.ca/EN/441/ (Accessed May 30, 2007).
  7. 7.
    CCOHS, registered nurses, Available online at: https://doi.org/www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/occup_workplace/nurse.html (Accessed May 30, 2007).
  8. 8.
    Shannon HS, Lowe GS. How many injured workers do not file claims for workers’ compensation benefits? Am J Ind Med 2002;42:467–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Alamgir H, Koehoorn M, Ostry A, Tompa E, Demers PA. How many work-related injuries requiring hospitalization in British Columbia are claimed for workers’ compensation? Am J Ind Med 2006;49(6):443–51.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Herbert T, Janeway K, Schechter C. Carpal tunnel syndrome and workers’ compensation among an occupational clinic population in New York State. Am J Ind Med 1999;35:335–42.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rosenman KD, Gardiner JC, Wang J, Biddle J, Hogan A, Reilly MJ, et al. Why most workers with occupational repetitive trauma do not file for workers’ compensation. J Occup Environ Med 2000;42:25–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Azaroff LS, Levenstein C, Wegman DH. Occupational injury and illness surveillance: Conceptual filters explain underreporting. Am J Public Health 2002;92:1421–29.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Stanbury M, Joyce P, Kipen H. Silicosis and workers’ compensation in New Jersey. J Occup Environ Med 1995;37:1342–47.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kauppinen T, Toikkanen J, Pukkala E. From cross-tabulations to multipurpose exposure information systems: A new job-exposure matrix. Am J Ind Med 1998;33(4):409–17.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Klaucke DN, Buehler JW, Thacker SB, Parrish RG, Trowbridge FL, Berkelman RL. Guidelines for Evaluating Surveillance Systems. MMWR 1988;37(S-5):1–18.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Goldsmith DF. Uses of workers’ compensation data in epidemiology research. Occup Med 1998;13:389–415.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    McCurdy SA, Schenker MB, Samuels SJ. Reporting of occupational injury and illness in the semiconductor manufacturing industry. Am J Public Health 1991;81:85–89.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hayden GJ, Gerberich SG, Maldonado G. Fatal farm injuries: A five-year study utilizing a unique surveillance approach to investigate the concordance of reporting between two data sources. J Occup Environ Med 1995;37:571–77.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Murphy PL, Sorock GS, Courtney TK, Webster BS, Leamon TB. Injury and illness in the American workplace: A comparison of data sources. Am J Ind Med 1996;30:130–41.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    van Charante AW, Mulder PG. Reporting of industrial accidents in The Netherlands. Am J Epidemiol 1998;148:182–90.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Tercero F, Andersson R. Measuring transport injuries in a developing country: An application of the capture-recapture method. Accid Anal Prev 2004;36:13–20.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Morse T, Dillon C, Warren N, Hall C, Hovey D. Capture-recapture estimation of unreported work-related musculoskeletal disorders in Connecticut. Am J Ind Med 2001;39:636–42.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Office of the Auditor General of British Columbia. 2001/2002 Report 6: Information Use by the Ministry of Health in Resource Allocation Decisions for the Regional Healthcare System. British Columbia: National Library Catalogue of Canada, 2002.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Engst C, Chhokar R, Miller A, Tate RB, Yassi A. Effectiveness of overhead lifting devices in reducing the risk of injury to care staff in extended care facilities. Ergonomics 2005;48(2):187–99.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Alamgir H, Cvitkovich Y, Yu S, Yassi A. Work-related injury among direct care occupations in British Columbia, Canada. Occup Environ Med 2007;64(11):769–75.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Alamgir H, Swinkels H, Yu S, Yassi A. Occupational injury among cooks and food service workers in the healthcare sector. Am J Ind Med 2007;50(7):528–35.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Alamgir H, Yu S, Chavoshi N, Ngan K. Allergy and irritation incidents among healthcare workers: Findings from British Columbia, Canada. AAOHN 2008;56(7):281–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Alamgir H, Yu S. Epidemiology of occupational injury among cleaners in the healthcare sector. Occup Med (Lond) 2008;58(6):393–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Alamgir H, Yu S, Chavoshi N, Ngan K. Occupational injury among full-time, part-time, and casual healthcare workers. Occup Med (Lond) 2008;58(5):348–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Alamgir H, Cvitkovich Y, Yu S, Astrakianakis G, Yassi A. Needlestick and other potential blood and body fluid (BBF) exposures among healthcare workers in British Columbia, Canada. Am J Infect Control 2008;36(1):12–21.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Spiegel J, Yassi A. Occupational disease surveillance in Canada: A framework for considering options and opportunities. Can J Public Health 1991;82(5):294–99.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Information SystemsOccupational Health and Safety Agency for Healthcare in BC (OHSAH)VancouverCanada
  2. 2.Statistics and EvaluationOccupational Health and Safety Agency for Healthcare (OHSAH)VancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations