Development and implementation of clinical algorithms in occupational health practice

J Occup Environ Med. 2013 Dec;55(12):1443-8. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182a7e63b.


Objective: Occupational health (OH) practice is framed by legal, ethical, and regulatory requirements. Integrating this information into daily practice can be a difficult task. We devised evidence-based framework standards of good practice that would aid clinical management, and assessed their impact.

Methods: The clinical algorithm was the method deemed most appropriate to our needs. Using "the first OH consultation" as an example, the development, implementation, and evaluation of an algorithm is described.

Results: The first OH consultation algorithm was developed. Evaluation demonstrated an overall improvement in recording of information, specifically consent, recreational drug history, function, and review arrangements.

Conclusions: Clinical algorithms can be a method for assimilating and succinctly presenting the various facets of OH practice, for use by all OH clinicians as a practical guide and as a way of improving quality in clinical record-keeping.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Documentation
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent
  • Medical Audit
  • Medical History Taking
  • Occupational Health*
  • Occupational Medicine / methods*
  • Occupational Medicine / standards
  • Patient Care Team
  • United Kingdom
  • Work Capacity Evaluation