The Intermountain Regional Poison Control Center at the University of Utah Hospital can now get information to aid poison victims in seconds thanks to a recently installed computer program.
Poisindex, Identidex, Drugdex and Emergindex, marketed as the Computerized Clinical Information System, are data bases now in the hospital's main-frame computer that will allow toxicologists to call up medication and poisons and identify antidotes or treatments. Until now, the center staff has been using a much slower microfiche system."What used to take us nearly a minute to do, we can now do in less than five seconds," said Dr. Joseph Veltri, associate professor of pharmacy at the U. and director of the poison control center.
The new system, to cost between $70,000 and $80,000, will in part be financed by local insurance groups and other third-party payers who benefit from the service. The center is funded by the Utah Health Department and is housed in space donated by University Hospital.
"Besides allowing us to help our patients much more quickly, the CCIS also will free up our staff to make more follow-up calls," Veltri said. "As is the case with many of the state agencies, we are dealing with a shrinking budget. This will help us to be much more efficient."
Poisindex, updated quarterly, contains detailed toxicology information designed to identify and provide ingredient information on more than 300,000 commercial, industrial, pharmaceutical and botanical substances. The system also provides management or treatment information.
Identidex, he said, is a drug information data base that includes drug evaluations and drug consultations on more than 3,700 U.S. and foreign drugs, including investigational and over-the-counter medications.
Emergindex is a referenced medical information data base designed to present pertinent clinical data for acute care medicine. The system is divided into six major sections including clinical reviews, clinical abstracts, and emergency and critical care techniques.
It took four months and 225 megabytes of computer memory for Jim Schlight, manager of the hospital's information systems, and Tikey Drossos, programmer analyst, to reprogram the data bases so they could be used in the hospital's existing main-frame computer.