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Recognition of the Relationship Between Patients’ Work and Health: A Qualitative Evaluation of the Need for Clinical Decision Support (CDS) for Worker Health in Five Primary Care Practices

Baron, Sherry MD, MPH; Filios, Margaret S. MSc, RN; Marovich, Stacey MS, MHI; Chase, Dian PhD, FNP-C, MBA, MSN, RN; Ash, Joan S. PhD, MLS, MBA

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: November 2017 - Volume 59 - Issue 11 - p e245–e250
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001183
Computer-Mediated Clinical Decision Support in Primary Care Fast Track Articles

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the perceived value and feasibility of increased access to information about workers’ health for primary care providers (PCPs) by evaluating the need for clinical decision support (CDS) related to worker health in primary care settings.

Methods: Qualitative methods, including semi-structured interviews and observations, were used to evaluate the value and feasibility of three examples of CDS relating work and health in five primary care settings.

Results: PCPs and team members wanted help addressing patients’ health in relation to their jobs; the proposed CDS examples were perceived as valuable because they provided useful information, promoted standardization of care, and were considered technically feasible. Barriers included time constraints and a perceived inability to act on the findings.

Conclusion: PCPs recognize the importance and impact of work on their patients’ health but often lack accessible knowledge at the right time. Occupational health providers can play an important role through contributions to the development of CDS that assists PCPs in recognizing and addressing patients’ health, as well as through the provision of referral guidelines.

Queens College, City University of New York, Flushing, New York (Dr Baron); National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Morgantown, West Virginia (Filios, Marovich); and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Portland, Oregon (Drs Chase, Ash).

Address correspondence to: Sherry Baron, MD, MPH, Barry Commoner Center for Health and the Environment, Queens College, City University of New York, Queens, NY 11367 (Sherry.Baron@qc.cuny.edu).

Funding to support this work was provided through Contract 200-2015-61837 for the OHSU coauthors as part of NORA project #927ZLDN, and included an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) agreement with Dr Baron to support her participation.

The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The authors have no conflicts of interest.

The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Copyright © 2017 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine