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This award-winning blog supplements the articles in Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.

NIOSH beginning network to track occupational injuries to HCWs

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. [Exhibit 2 about here] 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: [email protected] Sara Luckhaupt, MD, MPH: [email protected] OHSN Team: [email protected]