Integrating Poison Center Data into Oregon ESSENCE using a Low-Cost Solution

How to Cite

Laing, R. (2017). Integrating Poison Center Data into Oregon ESSENCE using a Low-Cost Solution. Online Journal of Public Health Informatics, 9(1).


ObjectiveTo enhance Oregon ESSENCE’s surveillance capabilities byincorporating data from the Oregon Poison Center using limitedresources.IntroductionOregon Public Health Division (OPHD), in collaboration with theJohns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, implementedOregon ESSENCE in 2012. Oregon ESSENCE is an automated,electronic syndromic surveillance system that captures emergencydepartment data. To strengthen the capabilities of Oregon ESSENCE,OPHD sought other sources of health-outcome information, includingOregon Poison Center (OPC). In the past, Oregon’s surveillance staffmanually monitored OPC data on the National Poison Data Service(NPDS) website. Although functional, it was not integrated intoOregon’s syndromic surveillance system and required epidemiologiststo assess alerts on individual calls. To achieve data integration,OPHD pursued an automated solution to deliver OPC data intoOregon ESSENCE. OPHD’s growing interoperability infrastructurefostered development of a low-cost, reliable solution to automate theintegration of these data sources.MethodsOPC facilitated OPHD’s access to the free-of-charge NPDS webservice with an approval request and a data use agreement. OPHDuses the Rhapsody Integration Engine 6.2.1 (Orion Health, Auckland,NZ) as its primary data transfer and translation mechanism. OPHDleveraged its existing Rhapsody installation to automatically requestdata from the NPDS web service daily. Each request contains customsearch parameters that query calls from the previous day (24 hours).The service returns an XML file containing poison center call datawith multiple nodes of related data. Rhapsody uses a JavaScript ‘filter’to parse each call and its related data. The Oregon ESSENCE backendSQL database contains a parent table for the call and child tables forthe related data (Clinical Effects, Routes, Scenarios, Therapies, andGeneric Codes). Rhapsody inserts data into each of these backendSQL tables.ResultsOregon ESSENCE displays OPC data through its web interface forinterpretation by OPHD’s syndromic surveillance epidemiologists.Integrating NPDS data into Oregon ESSENCE allows OPHD staffto timely monitor data in an automated, routine manner. Syndromicsurveillance staff first assess alerts generated by Oregon ESSENCE.Alerts that require follow-up trigger a call between OPHDepidemiologists and OPC. Oregon is the first state to use the NPDSweb service to upload poison center data into Oregon ESSENCE.ConclusionsOregon’s successful integration of the NPDS web service data intoOregon ESSENCE is the first known of its kind. It leverages OPHD’sgrowing infrastructure of interoperability software applications andstaff expertise to create a cost-effective and sustainable solution thatcan be easily adapted by other public health agencies.
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