New Compendium Highlights Development of Clinical Decision Support to Enhance Worker Health

A new compilation of articles published in the November issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, describes an effort led by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to develop and evaluate clinical decision support (CDS) designed to assist primary care clinicians' with care of their working patients using CDS tools in electronic health records. This is the first effort to systematically develop and assess the practicality and usefulness of providing clinical decision support linked to work through health information systems in the primary care setting.
“Primary care practitioners are often the first to see patients with work-related conditions, care for patients who may have trouble managing their health at work, or see patients whose health affects their ability to work,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “The information presented in this compendium demonstrates the potential to put resources directly in the hands of primary care clinicians that can promote better care of working patients using 21st century information technology.”
The compendium, which is part of a larger NIOSH effort to facilitate recognition of the relationship between work and health and how to address it through health information technology, includes:
•An overview of the project
•Three articles that describe the process of producing proposed recommendations to introduce computer-mediated CDS into health information systems, to assist providers in the care of working patients. Each article covers one of three topic areas:
1.The diagnosis and management of work-related asthma
2.Workplace factors that affect diabetes management
3.Decisions about return-to-work after an episode of acute low-back pain not associated with work
•Results of a qualitative evaluation that gathered feedback from five primary care settings representing various areas nationwide and types of clinical practices.


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