Every 90 seconds, a health care professional consults a poison center in the U.S. The Texas Poison Center Network is a valuable tool for health care professionals. We offer medical consultations and poison center staff can recommend the best treatment advice for the poisoned patient. Patients managed with poison center expertise, experience shorter hospitalizations on average, helping health care providers serve more patients, improving health outcomes and decreasing health care costs.
The information poison centers provide include:
- Assessment of poisonings or overdoses
- Specific treatment recommendations for each patient
- Other toxicological consults
- Overdose signs and symptoms
- Drug interactions
- Ranges of toxicity
- Effects on pregnancy
- Decontamination recommendations
- Treatment guidelines
- Assistance locating antidotes and antivenin
- Pill identification
- Identification of chemicals that may be hazardous to first responders and providers
- Toxidrome identification
- Access to public health emergency information (i.e., H1N1, food and drug recalls, health effects of natural disasters, Gulf of Mexico oil spill information, or bioterrorism attacks)
What Resources Do Poison Centers Provide?
- Expert staff
- Nurses, pharmacists and physicians trained in toxicology and working under medical direction
- Availability 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1-800-222-1222
- Public Health, Exposure Tracking, Disaster Preparedness
- Near real-time, nationwide data collection
- Reporting of poison exposures
- Access to emergency information during public health emergencies (for example, disease epidemics or bioterrorism attacks)
- Professional Education and Training
- Wide range of education services to health care providers
- CME for poison management, updates on new poisons, and antidotes
- Medical and clinical toxicology fellowships
- Assistance with patient education for health care providers
BECAUSE OF HIPAA, CAN I SHARE INFORMATION WITH THE POISON CENTER?
Absolutely. Poison centers fall under “covered entities” in the HIPAA Privacy Rule regulations. (45 CFR 164.501, 506(c)). Calls and patient information are kept confidential, and poison centers are held to the same HIPAA requirements by which other health care providers abide.
WHY DOES THE POISON CENTER CALL FOR INFORMATION ON MY PATIENTS?
Once a patient enters the poison center system, a case is opened on that patient. Our professionals follow that patient through their hospital stay and keep records on outcomes and treatments. Your information is vital to the ability of poison centers to continually assess the effects of drugs, chemicals, and poison treatments.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE INFORMATION I GIVE THE POISON CENTER?
Patient information is kept in a national database (called the National Poison Data System and managed by AAPCC). This information is used for toxicological study, to establish patient care guidelines, to identify products that need reformulation, and to better understand and educate the public about poison dangers.
Upcoming trainings for health care professionals:
None available at this time. Please check back frequently.