Diagnosing and reporting of occupational diseases: a quality improvement study


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Abstract

AimTo assess the need for quality improvement of diagnosing and reporting of noise-induced occupational hearing loss and occupational adjustment disorder.MethodsPerformance indicators and criteria for the quality of diagnosing and reporting were developed. Self-assessment questionnaires were sent to all occupational physicians recorded on the Netherlands Centre for Occupational Diseases database. The performance of responding occupational physicians was then assessed by separate scores per performance indicator and by a total quality score.ResultsTwenty-three questionnaires on noise-induced occupational hearing loss and 125 questionnaires on occupational adjustment disorder were available for analysis. The mean quality score for diagnosing and reporting was 6.0 (SD: 1.4) for noise-induced occupational hearing loss and 7.9 (SD: 1.5) for occupational adjustment disorder on a scale of 0–10. For noise-induced occupational hearing loss, there was a need for quality improvement of the aspects of medical history, audiometric measurement, clinical diagnosis of the disease and reporting. For occupational adjustment disorder, the assessment of other non-occupational causes needed improvement.ConclusionsThe quality of diagnosing and reporting could be improved for noise-induced occupational hearing loss and occupational adjustment disorders. Information, education and practical tools are proposed for quality improvements.

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