NIOSH’s Occupational Health and Safety Network

The Occupational Health Safety Network (OHSN) is a free, innovative, web-based injury and exposure monitoring system created for healthcare facilities. This secure system enables participating facilities to analyze worker injury and exposure data that they already collect. Trends for traumatic injury and hazardous exposures are visualized using the OHSN chart function. OHSN allows facilities to track their work-related injuries and exposures over time.

OHSN fills the gap for the need of a tool that can monitor work-related injuries by using specific, standard information that includes the root causes of injuries among healthcare workers and reporting this information directly back to participating hospitals in a timely manner to guide interventions.

More and more hospitals are using OHSN to analyze their data in minute detail, to take advantage of the user-friendly and visually appealing graphs and charts, and to monitor patterns of injuries (e.g., types of healthcare personnel involved, risk factors, circumstances causing injuries), while identifying the most promising prevention strategies.

The OHSN addresses several existing challenges in traditional hospital occupational health surveillance and is a catalyst for prevention in several key ways:

  • Timeliness of reports: OHSN data are uploaded by the healthcare facility monthly or quarterly; these new data set are available for analysis by the facility within 7-10 days. Previously submitted data is available continuously. This is in stark contrast to traditional data collection and analysis that can take months and even years;
  • Flexibility of reports: OHSN enables healthcare facilities to choose their individual injury variables of interest. Facilities are also able to select the denominator for calculating rates: full-time employees (FTEs), bed size, or number of monthly admissions;
  • Real-time up-to-date output: OHSN’s output is available on a secure website 24/7, customized and up-to-date; and
  • Compatibility in surveillance systems: OHSN enables healthcare facilities to view OHSN reports that clearly show their individual rates, trends overtime, and objectively measure intervention impact.

Healthcare systems, which include multiple hospitals that employ thousands of employees, can compare injury rates among all hospitals in their system. Healthcare systems can then determine what hospitals in their system are experiencing higher injury rates to focus their prevention efforts.

OHSN is also a great resource for prevention tools to address the injuries and illnesses tracked.