Use of poison center data assessment report 2012
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Use of poison center data assessment report 2012

  • July 3, 2013

Filetype[PDF-339.97 KB]

  • English

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      The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists in association with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Association of Poison Control Centers—via the Poison Center and Public Health Collaborations Community of Practice—conducted an assessment of epidemiology programs in the 50 US states, Washington DC, and five large cities to describe current relationships between health departments and poison centers nationwide, including barriers to successful collaborations. Fifty-four of the 56 agencies responded. Fifty-three of the 54 health agency reported current collaborations with their local poison control center(s).

      Characteristics of these health department-poison center relationships varied greatly in terms of the number and types of poison center services or capacities1 available, the type of data access available to health agencies, and the level of interactivity between the agencies. The most common poison control center (PCC) coverage situation is having a single PCC serving the entire state or jurisdiction, reported by 60.38% of respondents. Eleven of the 53 respondents with current PCC collaborations (20.75%) have a high level of interactivity with their poison control centers and 15 (28.30%) have a low level of interactivity, although only five respondents (9.43%) reported minimal contact between agencies. Of note, having a greater number of PCC services/capacities available to the health agency is associated with higher interactivity between the two agencies.

      More than half of respondents reported periodic contact and collaboration on public health issues, poison control data provided intermittently or as needed, and automated public health alerts shared between the two agencies. The most common PCC services provided to health agencies are disaster/surge capability/support and reportable illness notification. About a third of respondents have ongoing special projects involving their PCCs.

      The majority of respondents indicated that the primary barriers between health agencies and poison control centers are lack of dedicated funding and information technology limitations. All respondents acknowledged the importance of poison control centers to public health in their state or local jurisdiction. Based on findings, ‘best practices’ for partnerships and communications between these agencies are needed to ensure continued and improved collaborations.


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