There is an urgent need for poisoning data to inform research and responses in a diverse range of areas, including drug safety, product safety, suicide & injury prevention, and paediatric poisonings.

The four Australian Poisons Information Centres (PICs) take more than 200,000 calls annually, providing a national service to healthcare professionals and the public. This project will create a real-time, secure Australian PIC dataset. Data entered by poisons specialists and clinical toxicologists including exposure, demographic, clinical and advice details will form a clinical record database, but also be a vital tool for public health surveillance and research.

Start date 1 January 2021
Expected completion date 30 June 2023
Investment by ARDC $500,000
Lead node
1 National PIC dataset
PICs collect detailed data on each poisoning call, including patient demographics and detailed substance records. The national PIC dataset will cover the entirety of poisons centre data in Australia from all four PICs and eight jurisdictions.
2 Standards development
Standards for data capture will be agreed across the four Australian PICs.

Core features

Harmonised dataset
Agreement on standards for data capture will ensure the availability of a harmonised data asset across the four Australian PICs.
Streamlined access
Formal arrangements are in place for requesting timely access to the data.
Real time data
The national PIC dataset is continuously updated in real time as calls are received and entered across the four Australian PICs, ensuring users have access to the most up-to-date poisoning information.

Who is this project for?

  • Research organisations
  • Government organisations
  • Poison Information Centres
  • Pharmaceutical and industrial chemical companies

What does this project enable?

The current PIC databases are not harmonised, and thus providing national data is labour intensive, involving four separate database extractions, and combining data with different fields and minimum data sets. A harmonised national PIC dataset will enable researchers to have more efficient and timely access to national PIC data, including the possibility of national data linkage with other Commonwealth data assets (e.g. PBS/MBS data, coronial data).

Handy resources

  • Full Project title: Boosting public health research with a national poisoning dataset
NSW Poisons Information CentreVisit
Victorian Poisons Information CentreVisit
Queensland Poisons Information CentreVisit
Western Australian Poisons Information CentreVisit
NSW Ministry of HealthVisit
University of SydneyVisit