Redesigning a sentinel surveillance system for collecting and disseminating near real-time agricultural injury reports: System usability study

Bryan Weichelt, Tomi Heimonen, Serap Gorucu, Emily Redmond, Josef Vechinski, Kurt Pflughoeft, Casper Bendixsen, Marsha Salzwedel, Erika Scott, Kang Namkoong, Mark Purschwitz, Risto Rautiainen, Dennis J. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Injury data and reports provide valuable information for both public and private organizations to guide programming, policy, and prevention, but in the increasingly complex and dangerous industry of US agriculture, the injury surveillance needed to produce this data is lacking. To address the gap, AgInjuryNews was established in 2015. The system includes fatal and nonfatal injury cases derived from publicly available reports, including occupational and nonoccupational injuries, occurring in the agricultural, forestry, and fishing (AFF) industry. Objective: The study aimed to develop a stakeholder-engaged redesign of the interactive, up-to-date, and publicly available dataset of US AFF injury and fatality reports. Methods: Instructor-led heuristic evaluations within a 15-student undergraduate course, data from 8 student participants of laboratory-based usability testing and 2016 and 2017 AgInjuryNews-registered user surveys, coupled with input from the National Steering Committee informed the development priorities for 2018. An interdisciplinary team employed an agile methodology of 2-week sprints developing in ASP.NET and Structured Query Language to deliver an intuitive frontend and a flexible, yet structured, backend, including a case report input form for capturing more than 50 data points on each injury report. Results: AgInjuryNews produced 17,714 page views from 43 countries in 2018 captured via Google Analytics, whereas 623 injury reports were coded and loaded, totaling more than 31,000 data points. Newly designed features include customizable email alerts, an interactive map, and expanded search and filter options. User groups such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America have endorsed the system within their networks. News media have cited or referenced the system in national outlets such as the New York Times, Politico, and the Washington Post. Conclusions: The new system's features, functions, and improved data granularity have sparked innovative lines of research and increased collaborative interest domestically and abroad. It is anticipated that this nontraditional sentinel surveillance system and its dataset will continue to serve many purposes for public and private agricultural safety and health stakeholders in the years to come.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13621
JournalJMIR Formative Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019


  • Agriculture
  • Farms
  • News
  • Newspaper article
  • Risk
  • Safety
  • Wounds and injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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