Exploring Inter-Departmental Variation in Departmental Stress Using Medical Claims Data

David W. Britt*, 1, Lydia Moore2, Brad Shuck3, Patricia Benson4, E. Kobena Osam3
1 Fetal Medicine Foundation, 131 EAST 65th St., NY 10065, New York, USA
2 Data Forensics and Intelligence, Aon-Hewitt, Lincolnshire, Illinois, USA
3 ELEOD, University of Louisville, 530 S Jackson St, Louisville, KY 40202, USA
4 Health, Wellness and Disease Management, University of Louisville, 530 S Jackson St, Louisville, KY 40202, USA

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Creative Commons License
© Britt et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address corresponding to this author at the Fetal Medicine Foundation, FMFA, 131 E 65th ST., New York, NY 10065, USA; Tel: 347-831-0293; Fax: 212-879-2606; Email:



Over the last several years there has been an increasing emphasis on making organizations healthy and functional places to work.


To develop a scale of departmental stress from residualized, aggregated medical-claims data.


Following the strategy of using aggregated individual data to infer the characteristics of larger units, we use medical-claims data from a metropolitan research university. Logged residuals of average individual medical claims are aggregated over a two-year period, controlling for compositional (% Female and % 50 and older) and other factors (Department size and Presence of a lab using toxic chemicals). We then examine the internal consistency and factor structure of a scale constructed from a reduced-set of 14 ICD-9 medical claim categories.


Our results indicate a dominant primary factor that explains 44% of the common variance. The scale is also internally consistent, with a Cronbach’s Alpha of. 87.


We conclude that there is meaningful, coherent variation in medical claims across departments that is tentatively interpreted in terms of departmental stress.

Keywords: Context, Embodiment, Organizations, Risk, Stress, Wellness.