Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
Print version ISSN 1413-8123
SANTANA, Rosane Abdala Lins de; BOCHNER, Rosany and GUIMARAES, Maria Cristina Soares. National poison information system: the challenge of the data standardization. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, suppl.1, pp.1191-1200. ISSN 1413-8123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232011000700051.
Human poisoning is a serious public health issue around the world. Readily available and reliable information in this field are essential to the full implementation of epidemiological and sanitary surveillance and to establish efficient and effective strategies of control. The continuous improvement of data quality and consistency % no doubt, a permanent challenge % has a key role in the definition of public policies. To assess the accuracy of Brazilian data on human poisonings, this study explores data from a network of Toxicological Information and Assistance Centers, one of the main sources of such data in Brazil. Data are consolidated by the National Poison Information System (SINITOX). Assuming that standardization is one of the main procedures that influence the data quality collected and analyzed by SINITOX, the study assesses the operations of the Centers affiliated to the SINITOX in charge to interpret and register the events reported to them and highlights the procedures used to standardize case reports. The results show an evident insufficient degree of standardization of the data received at SINITOX. We emphasize the need to design strategies to improve standardization, aiming to develop a reliable system and to minimize the harms associated to human poisoning in Brazil.
Keywords : Standardization; Data quality; Human poisoning; Information system.