Incorporating Occupational Information in Electronic Health Records: Letter Report – Institute of Medicine – 30 September 2011

Posted on October 3, 2011. Filed under: Health Informatics, Medical Records, Occupational Hlth Safety | Tags: , |

Incorporating Occupational Information in Electronic Health Records: Letter Report – Institute of Medicine – 30 September 2011

“Each year in the United States, more than 4,000 occupational fatalities and more than 3 million occupational injuries occur along with more than 160,000 cases of occupational illnesses. The use of electronic health records (EHRs) has increased rapidly since the passage of the 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. Incorporating patients’ occupational information into EHRs could lead to more informed clinical diagnosis and treatment plans as well as more effective policies, interventions, and prevention strategies to improve the overall health of the working population.

At the request of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the IOM appointed a committee to examine the rationale and feasibility of incorporating occupational information in patients’ EHRs. The committee focused on the potential benefits of the inclusion of occupational information to individual and public health, current systems that use this information, and technical barriers to incorporating occupational information into the EHR. The IOM concluded that three data elements – occupation, industry, and work-relatedness – were ready for immediate focus. To incorporate these data into EHRs, recommendations were made that include assessment of data collection and incorporation, requirements for storing and communicating occupational information, development of metrics and performance measures, and assessment of privacy concerns, among others.”

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