Informational portal includes educational materials, prevention programs and interactive poisoning data across Florida
JACKSONVILLE, FL (PRWEB) SEPTEMBER 09, 2015
Poison-related exposures and injuries cost the residents of Florida, through higher health insurance premiums and lost time at work, hundreds of millions of dollars a year. The results of a recent study presented to the Florida Legislature, show that number would be significantly higher if it were not for the work of the professionals at the Florida Poison Information Center Network. The Centers, which are located in Jacksonville, Tampa and Miami, are staffed with professional poison specialists who are doctors, nurses and pharmacists, who field over 160,000 poison-related calls per year from across Florida and the US Virgin Islands.
“We work as a team to deliver quality care,” said Dr. Jay Schauben, Director, Florida/USVI Poison Information Center – Jacksonville. “That care is delivered through assessing and managing poisoning exposures and answering poisoning information questions by phone 24/7/365. The majority of these calls come from the homes of Florida residents, while others involve our specialists and toxicologists co-managing poison cases with the health care professionals in the hospitals.”
To reinforce the critical public safety role Florida’s Poison Control Centers have played in Florida for the past 30 years, they have launched a newly designed and comprehensive web site. This site contains information on the prevention of poison-related exposures, as well as the ability to order educational materials in English and Spanish, with topics that include: how to poison proof your home, look-alike poisons, medication tips for seniors, and poison prevention activity books for children, who account for half the poison exposure calls.
“The web site includes information we derived from studying very large data sets and the effects of poisonings on the population of Florida over the past ten years,” said Schauben. “This is reflected in our ability to characterize the epidemiology of poison exposures and then direct our efforts towards both prevention and effective treatment. This also resulted in production of the educational messaging targeting children and seniors who are disproportionately affected by exposures.”
The results of the study, which was conducted by Jacksonville-based NLP Logix, an advanced analytics and machine learning company, measured the effectiveness of the various activities by combining very large data sets gathered from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, the Florida Poison Information Center Network’s electronic health records and even the US Census Data.
“The work the Poison Centers do is amazing,” said Katie Bakewell, Lead Statistician for NLP Logix. “By applying advanced algorithms to the data sets, we were able to see patterns such as a reduction in specific poisonings in areas where the poison centers provided focused public education. A clear reduction in the gross hospital charges and average length of hospital stay was also recognized when a hospitalized poisoned patient was co-managed by one of the poison centers.”
While the vast majority of the data visualizations and results of the data studies have been kept private to protect confidential information, the new web site does allow the public to observe and interact with de-identified/public access data via a dashboard built by NLP Logix using Tableau Software. To access the new site you can point your browser to http://www.floridapoisoncontrol.org and click the “Poisoning Data” tab to view the interactive dashboard.
About the Florida Poison Information Center Network
The mission of the Florida Poison Information Center Network is to provide exceptional care for individual patients and for supporting public health through information, surveillance, education and research. The Florida Poison Information Center Network was created by an act of the Florida Legislature in 1989 (FS 395.1027) in response to the overwhelming need for emergency poison information in the state. The Network, incorporates three poison centers located in Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa, and currently receives approximately 500 calls each day from Floridians and residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands. For More information about the Florida Poison Information Center Network go to http://www.floridapoisoncontrol.org