Nationally recognized as a Certified Regional Poison Control Center by the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), UPCC is one of 50 centers with such distinction. Established in 1954, the UPCC has responded to more than 1,664,000 calls for assistance.
The AAPCC established voluntary standards for certified poison centers in 1978. The primary goal of certification is to ensure that all residents of a given geographic area have access to the highest quality of certified poison center services. Certification criteria include:
- poison information services
- regional treatment capabilities
- data collection capabilities
- professional and public education programs
The mission of the Utah Poison Control Center is to prevent and minimize adverse health effects from a poison exposure through education, service, and research.
The major goals of the UPCC are:
- To provide 24-hour emergency telephone service to the public and health professionals of Utah for assistance during a poisoning emergency.
- To be a state resource for accurate and up-to-date poison information and clinical toxicology consultation to the public, health-care professionals, emergency service personnel, public health officials and media.
- To provide quality poison prevention and awareness education throughout the state.
- To be a leader in Utah for education of health professionals and health professional students in clinical toxicology.
- To conduct clinical toxicology, poisoning epidemiology and poison prevention research.
- To be an integral part of disaster planning and response through actively participating in state, local, University of Utah Health and national Disaster Preparedness and Response.
- To maintain accreditation as a regional poison control center by the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
Specialists in Poison Information:
We are staffed around-the-clock with registered pharmacists, nurses and physicians with additional training in clinical toxicology. Specialists in Poison Information undergo a minimum of 12 weeks of toxicology training prior to independently answering poison exposure calls. After working at least one year at the center and handling 2,000 exposure calls, staff members are required to sit for the Specialists in Poison Information Proficiency Examination to become a Certified Specialist in Poison Information.
Our Medical Director and Director provide back-up at all times to the specialists in poison information and are board certified in medical and clinical toxicology respectively.
Outreach Education Provider:
The role of our Outreach Educator is to coordinate educational activities for the UPCC.
Provision of Patient Care
The UPCC is involved in the provision of patient care through consultations over the telephone. During the initial contact, UPCC staff gathers specific details about the patient and the exposure in order to adequately assess the situation and provide appropriate triage, diagnostic and treatment recommendations.
Follow-up calls are performed to reassess patient status. As with any consult service, the UPCC needs patient specific information in order to assess whether the recommendations it has provided are still appropriate. Changes in patient clinical status or discovering new history that may have been obtained by the primary providers may require changes in our initial recommendations. We continue to follow the patient until the poisoning is resolved and the patient is medically cleared. Follow-up is typically with the nurse taking care of the patient, but occasionally with the resident or attending physician.
Because the UPCC is a telephone-based service, contact for follow-up is over the telephone. The UPCC staff can provide hospital staff with sufficient details to verify who is calling and their involvement with the case. The UPCC staff has information about the patient that may include reason for the exposure, substance involved, treatment provided, patient status, past medical history, circumstances surrounding the exposure, name, age, gender and weight. Not all of the above information is available in each circumstance. In rare instances, the patient name is unavailable when the patient first arrives in the hospital. This is usually when the hospital initiates contact with the UPCC rather than when the patient initiates contact with the UPCC.
Consultation of the UPCC initiated by the patient or health care provider constitutes implied consent regarding the UPCC's need to gather information necessary to adequately assess and make recommendations regarding the case as a health care provider.
See our Notice of Privacy Practice.
Is the UPCC a Covered Entity?
Yes. The UPCC is a program of the University of Utah College of Pharmacy and the UPCC falls within University of Utah Health's HIPAA Covered Entity. We provide patient care as a consultant and you can provide follow-up patient specific information to us. We appreciate the opportunity to work with you to provide the best care possible to our patients. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.