Deployment of an Electronic Documentation System for the IWK Regional Poison Centre
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The Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office (EMO/911) is mandated with coordinating the province’s response to emergency situations. EMO/911 provided funding to create an electronic documentation system for the IWK Regional Poison Centre and abolish the manually documented system. There were several drivers for this project: • High volume of calls with approximately 10,000 calls per year being handled manually. • Difficulty in generating meaningful statistics due to manual nature of call handling. • Community benefit of a database with information regarding the toxicological care of the poison victim in order to identify and predict toxic exposure trends, provide public health surveillance reporting, evaluate products that will reduce morbidity and mortality and provide a data source for future research. The participants were the IWK Regional Poison Centre in collaboration with the Health Informatics Department at Dalhousie University. The project was initially designed to be implemented in two phases. The first phase was to be an analysis and design of the tool and the second would focus on developing the tool itself. These two phases were to be split over two internships. The research done by the first health informatics intern found that there are many documentation systems for Poison Centres being used in North America. Also it was determined that it is cheaper to buy than to develop in-house, also resulting in a faster implementation. Therefore the idea of developing the tool in-house was dropped. The first intern did an extensive analysis of different third party tools in North America and the results suggested buying and deploying a tool called Visual DotLab (VDL), offered by a company in California (WBM).