Bridging the Knowledge Gap

Bridging the Knowledge Gap

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
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