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 AlamgirEmail author



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.


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.


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.


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


Healthcare surveillance occupational health evidence evaluation health and safety 



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.


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).


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.


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 


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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

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