Evaluation of a state based syndromic surveillance system for the classification and capture of non-fatal occupational injuries and illnesses in New Jersey

Source: Marija Borjan, Margaret Lumia, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Online First, May 23, 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Background
This preliminary study evaluates a real-time syndromic surveillance system to track occupationally-related emergency room visits throughout New Jersey.

Methods
Emergency Department (ED) chief complaint fields were evaluated from 79 of 80 hospitals in NJ in 2014, using work-related keywords and ICD-9 E-codes, to determine its ability to capture non-fatal work-related injuries. Sensitivity analysis and descriptive statistics, were used to evaluate and summarize the occupational injuries identified.

Results
Overall, 11 919 (0.3%) possible work-related ED visits were identified from all ED visits. Events with the greatest number of ED visits were slips, trips, and falls (1679, 14%). Nature of injury included cuts, lacerations (1041, 9%). The part of the body most affected was the back (1414, 12%). This work-related classifier achieved a sensitivity of 5.4%, a specificity of 99.8%, and a PPV of 2.8%.

Conclusions
This evaluation demonstrated that the syndromic surveillance reporting system can yield real-time knowledge of work-related injuries.