Electronic Exchange of Poisoning Information (Utah)

Project Details - Ongoing

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Unintentional poisoning is the second-leading cause of injury death in the United States. Collaboration between poison control centers (PCCs) and emergency departments (EDs) is dependent upon verbal telephone communication, which can lead to miscommunication, data loss, and error. This project builds on a previous AHRQ-funded project, Supporting Continuity of Care for Poisonings with Electronic Information Exchange, in which the investigators identified numerous vulnerabilities and inefficiencies in the current telephone-based system of collaboration.

Health information exchange (HIE), the electronic exchange of patient information, could better support PCC-ED collaboration for poisoned patients during routine operations and in disaster scenarios, when telephone-based communication is tenuous. However, there is currently a lack of process models and informatics tools for PCC-ED HIE. Having these made available to PCCs, which typically operate with limited resources, would make adoption of an HIE process more feasible. In addition, research is limited on the clinical effects of implementing this type of provider-to-provider HIE, including effects on workflow and patient care. The objective of this followup study is to develop, implement, and evaluate a replicable, scalable infrastructure for HIE supported ED–PCC collaboration.

The specific aims of the project are to:

  • Develop a model process for HIE supported ED–PCC collaboration. 
  • Develop and implement informatics tools for HIE supported ED–PCC collaboration. 
  • Evaluate the effects of the model HIE process and informatics tools on workflow, communication, efficiency, and utilization. 

The investigators will take a user-centered design approach to develop a replicable, scalable process for ED-PCC HIE and informatics tools that enable EDs and PCCs to engage in HIE. They will evaluate the effect of the prototype information exchange process on workflow and clinical outcomes, including ED door-to-decision time, time to PCC case closure, and change in the number of telephone calls between EDs and PCCs. The study will provide the first step toward an HIE infrastructure to support collaboration and will result in a proposed HL7 standard for ED-PCC HIE and freely available, open-source tools for PCCs.

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