A result-oriented medical information system: An alternative to the conventional approach

C. P. Wen, Shan P. Tsai, Nancy S. Weiss, Roy L. Gibson, William A. McClellan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A result-oriented medical information system at the Gulf Oil Corporation is described. Mortality data acquired mostly from routine company operations have been used to calculate standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) and life expectancy. Results show that male employees at the age of 20 have a life expectancy of 74.8 years. Compared with the U.S. general population at age 20 with a life expectancy of 71.8 years, Gulf employees have an advantage of exactly three years. Such an advantage may seem small, but it is equivalent to the gain that could be achieved if all deaths from cancer were eliminated in the United States, a hypothetical and impossible situation. These life expectancy data have the potential for use by the company to Influence insurance premiums traditionally set by life insurance companies as well as to aid in the management of the company’s pension fund. The SMR for all causes for the male employees is 0.82, significantly decreased in comparison with that of the U.S. general population. This favorable experience has been referred to as “the healthy worker effect.” Cause-specific SMRs show a generalized pattern of deficits, some of which are statistically significant. None showed a significant increase. Seventy-six percent of the male deaths occurred among employees aged 65 years or older. If these annuitants (those alive at the beginning of the study) were not included and only the active workers were studied, an SMR of only 0.54 would be obtained. Such a study design would result primarily in a study of the “healthy worker effect” of the active rather than in a study of adverse health effects, and one might not be able to detect occupationally related cancer with a long latency period unl

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-391
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Occupational Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'A result-oriented medical information system: An alternative to the conventional approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this