Supporting the American Association of Poison Control Centers Innovation and Transformation Project

Dates: 2013-2014

Geographic Scope: Nationwide

Client(s): American Association of Poison Control Centers

Services: Health Care & Public Health Planning, Health Communication, Applied Research & Evaluation

Technical Expertise: Emergency Preparedness and Response, Environmental Health, Patient Safety


The patchwork funding of Poison Control Centers (PCCs) around the country is increasingly strained as the PCCs are challenged with maintaining relevance and making use of cost-effective, innovative communication channels to meet the changing needs of its consumers. Since their inception, PCCs have served a multitude of purposes within public health in addition to responding to calls regarding possible poisoning. These purposes include triage of non-urgent medical events, reducing health care costs, detecting and monitoring disease, educating the public and health professionals, and providing data for important research on product safety and toxicity. Considering these contributions and the fact that poison exposure continues to be a “significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the US,” the contribution of poison control centers to the American public’s health cannot be overstated.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers’ Innovation/Transformation Project helped increase the relevance of PCCs and employed the most effective and innovative communication methods preferred by consumers. The project also identified possible new product lines and business areas, maximizing opportunities for synergistic relationships with new partners.

As part of this project, JSI conducted market research and analysis and facilitate a process for innovation planning and strategic repositioning.

In phase I, JSI conducted a comprehensive environmental scan, as well as qualitative, and when available, quantitative research on consumer preferences. These activities informed a market research report. In phase II and informed by phase I, JSI engaged stakeholders in an Innovation Planning meeting to help prioritize findings and recommendations from the market research report, and built a framework for a three-year strategic repositioning plan.

The three-year plan included recommendations for new business opportunities and partners, suggestions for increasing relevance to consumers, and recommendations for implementing a virtual poison control center.