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Provincial Survey of Health Care Professionals Involved in the Care of Poisoned Patients

Aim: The goal of this survey was to identify areas for improvement in the services currently provided by the Quebec Poison Centre. Our primary objective was to describe the perceptions of clinicians regarding the ability of the Quebec Poison Centre to fulfill its missions, but we also evaluated as secondary objectives if our services are easily accessible.

Methods: This web-based survey was conducted amongst emergency physicians, intensivists, internists, paediatricians, family physicians and nurses working in primary care or inhospital care setting in the Province of Quebec. The main outcome measures collected included the proportion of participants perceiving that the Quebec Poison Centre fulfill its mission and the proportion of participants perceiving that they have an appropriate access to the Quebec Poison Centre services.

Results: Among our 268 participants (13% response rate), the majority (58-96%) reported that they felt the Quebec Poison Centre fulfill its clinical mission. They expressed more uncertainty regarding to educational (56-60%) and research (46-67%) missions. In terms of accessibility, 46 participants mentioned they have not been able to reach the Quebec Poison Centre in a reasonable time frame at least once, 36 mentioned they have not been able to reach the toxicologist at the Quebec Poison Centre in a reasonable time frame at least once and 63 mentioned they have experienced unreasonable delays at least once before receiving toxicology laboratory results. In terms of education, 234 respondents answered that they do not have access to toxicology training if they would like to learn more about this area in medicine.

Conclusion: The majority of participants perceived that the Quebec Poison Centre fulfills its missions, but expressed more uncertainties regarding the educational and research missions. They asked for improvement regarding accessibility to clinical services and training, elements on which the Quebec Poison Centre already made progress.


Maude St-Onge, Hélène Levasseur, Anne Letarte

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