ASTM E2473 - 05(2011)

    Standard Practice for the Occupational/Environmental Health View of the Electronic Health Record

    Active Standard ASTM E2473 | Developed by Subcommittee: E31.25

    Book of Standards Volume: 14.01


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    ASTM E2473

    Significance and Use

    This practice is directed at defining the application of existing conventions for the structure and content of EHR systems used to support healthcare practitioners in a workplace setting. In addition to supporting the capture of data on encounters and of periodic patient health assessments conducted during the time the employee is at work, this document also recognizes the interaction of care rendered over a lifetime and when not at work with that due to the work environment that is delivered on the work site, either for care events that have occupational significance or for surveillance of potential health conditions that may result from the work or living environment. This document recognizes not only the privacy and confidentiality of records that are kept in the work setting but also the need to be able to interchange data from the workplace record with health records in other settings in order to fully support employee and environmental health.

    Occupational Health Programs:

    Most occupational health programs are oriented, first, to any regular surveillance for observations associated with potentially adverse health conditions known to attend environmental stressors that may be present in either the workplace or the living environment and, second, to care and documentation of any illness or injury incurred during the workday at the work site or in other living environments. Each of these activities requires recording data for the care record that is a subset of that regularly required for care in other more extensive ambulatory and inpatient care settings. It also requires relating the events occurring in either the work place or the living environment to those observed healthcare data.

    This practice is intended to identify the most frequently used of the general data elements which are more completely documented in Practice E1384 and Specification E1633. Thus, this description constitutes a view of the more comprehensive set of data that might be captured in a general ambulatory care encounter. If the conventions given in this document are adhered to, the data will ensure a record that is portable to any other setting and the record will be interoperable with other standards conformant systems, regardless of their implementation techniques. Fig. 1 shows the inter-relationships of the basic information domains that support Occupational/Environmental Health programs within healthcare. The Care Record subdomain embraces the conceptual content and structure that have been documented in Practice E1384 and associated standards. Resource Management and Epidemiology data analytic functions and subdomains are documented elsewhere in descriptions of the requirements of the HIPAA legislation and the CDC Public Health Information NetworkPHIN(X). The Occupational Health Programs are generally organized in employing organizations, but healthcare enterprises need to also recognize that they too are employers in the same sense as any other societal business organization and that their employees, including all healthcare practitioners, as well as their associate professional discipline colleagues, are entitled to management of their occupational health information by the same principles. Thus, occupational health information management is intrinsic to management of all information in the healthcare enterprise and sets the stage for the management of information of the enterprises Patient population. An occupational/environmental health case is defined to be that informational record that identifies a specific instance of an occupational/environmentally induced health condition and its associated attributes from the patient care and environmental assessment records that will enable resolution of both the health condition and the causal environmental factors associated with it. The handling of cases relating to adverse effects of stressors in with general living environment is somewhat different since the adverse effects are usually first detected by the individuals personal practitioner and then only indirectly related to environmental events. These cases are not tracked organizationally in the same way that is used for those in the workplace. Even in workplaces for very small businesses, the environmental effects of the workplace are usually detected in this latter unstructured fashion and these cases are not currently formally tracked, nor is environmental monitoring performed.

    Reportable DataCertain data about care events are required to be regularly reported to public authorities, state or federal. These include occupational illness or injury. These reportable data constellations are subsets of the occupational health view described here and do not include all of the attributes of the view. Such Reportable Data are explicitly defined. These data can be composed into electronic messages for transmission to reporting authorities. While this view does not deal with the format of such messages, its constituent data elements provide the fields needed to compose such messages. For discussion of reportable data, consult Refs. (1, 2).

    Health Surveillance ProcessesHealth Surveillance processes supporting Occupational/Environmental Health begin with the Basic Patient Care Scenario given in Practice E1384. In occupational/environmental healthcare, the patient must first be registered and have updated demographic data available to the sites who give care for the illnesses and injuries resulting from either the occupations or the general living environment. Likewise, periodic environmental assessment measurements must be posted to the susceptible individuals patient record. When a health event occurs, provoking the individual to visit a healthcare enterprise, the individual demographic information must be easily accessible during the event encounters Receipt Phase. Attributes of that phase denote potential occupational or environmental involvement in the health condition(s) assessed during the Activities Phase of the Encounter. The care data is captured during the encounter and is related to the individuals recorded environmental exposure measurements. These observations become the source of reportable data that supports surveillance. Those encounter attributes also control the data that flows to all of the various other (for example, public health) information domains at the completion of the encounter. For best followup, the data captured in the EHR need to identify either the living or the work locations and associated activities that produce the adverse health events that may potentially be related either to the living or the work environment.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This Practice is intended to assemble a logical occupational/environmental health view of the already defined general structure and vocabulary for the Electronic Health Record (EHR) and to suggest the ways in which this view can be used to support employee health assessments and other healthcare delivered at the work site. This view is consistent with the ANSI/ADA Clinical Concept Data Model 2005, which identified the major data entities that will need to be involved. This view would complement other views addressed in other settings of care for the employee and could logically either request other EHR data or deliver to other practitioner requesters record systems portions of occupational/environmental health data that have been recorded at the work site. This practice does not deal with the specific implementation of the content and it also does not either suggest or recommend implementation techniques. Likewise, it does not suggest standards of care. These functions are dealt with in other domains.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E1239 Practice for Description of Reservation/Registration-Admission, Discharge, Transfer (R-ADT) Systems for Electronic Health Record (EHR) Systems

    E1340 Guide for Rapid Prototyping of Information Systems

    E1384 Practice for Content and Structure of the Electronic Health Record (EHR)

    E1578 Guide for Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS)

    E1633 Specification for Coded Values Used in the Electronic Health Record

    E1714 Guide for Properties of a Universal Healthcare Identifier (UHID)

    E1715 Practice for An Object-Oriented Model for Registration, Admitting, Discharge, and Transfer (RADT) Functions in Computer-Based Patient Record Systems

    E1744 Practice for View of Emergency Medical Care in the Electronic Health Record

    E1762 Guide for Electronic Authentication of Health Care Information

    E1869 Guide for Confidentiality, Privacy, Access, and Data Security Principles for Health Information Including Electronic Health Records

    E1986 Guide for Information Access Privileges to Health Information

    E1987 Guide for Individual Rights Regarding Health Information

    E1988 Guide for Training of Persons who have Access to Health Information

    E2017 Guide for Amendments to Health Information

    E2066 Guide for Validation of Laboratory Information Management Systems

    E2084 Specification for Authentication of Healthcare Information Using Digital Signatures

    E2085 Guide on Security Framework for Healthcare Information

    E2086 Guide for Internet and Intranet Healthcare Security

    E2145 Practice for Information Modeling

    E2147 Specification for Audit and Disclosure Logs for Use in Health Information Systems

    E2171 Practice for Rating-Scale Measures Relevant to the Electronic Health Record


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 35.240.80 (IT applications in health care technology)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/E2473-05R11

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