The Capability Gap in Occupational Health Information Management

Pamela L. Krahl, Raúl A. Mirza, William A. Rice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The lack of an integrated approach to data capture, information management, and analysis limits the contribution of occupational and environmental medicine to protecting 2.3 million uniformed and civilian DoD workers. Despite an abundance of military information systems that include the terms "Safety" and "Occupational Health" in their names, none of these systems provide capabilities needed to aggregate and analyze the results of occupational medicine exams, use medical surveillance to mitigate exposure incidents, provide enterprise-level management of occupational medicine services, or comply with privacy and recordkeeping law and regulation. Instead, they provide a patchwork of data that meets most regulatory compliance requirements but fails to achieve the true objectives of occupational health programs. Bridging these capability gaps will improve the occupational health care of the DoD workforce, improve the quality of occupational medicine services, increase public trust in the DoD management of exposure incidents, and potentially generate hundreds of millions of dollars through cost-avoidance on workers' compensation claims and through identification and elimination of non-value-added medical certification exams. The ongoing Military Health System transformation represents a unique opportunity to bridge these long-recognized but persistent capability gaps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-322
Number of pages4
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - 29 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


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