International Programme on Chemical Safety

INTOX Data Management System - Frequently Asked Questions

How was the INTOX Data Management System developed?

The INTOX Data Management System (INTOX DMS) was developed by a series of international working groups. These groups comprised representatives from poisons centres in both developing and developed countries plus others with an interest in poisons centre activities. The objective of the groups was, through discussion and consensus, to develop a system that would meet the needs of poisons centres operating in a variety of cultural and economic circumstances.

Separate working groups have looked at the data elements and format for the case data collection form (the Communication Record), at the terms to be used within the Communication Record (Authority Lists), including the definitions of those terms, at classification systems for agents (Use/Function classification), clinical features and poisoning severity (Poisoning Severity Score). Additional working groups have considered the requirements for a Harmonized Annual Report and the informatics aspects of the Data Management System.

What kind of information can be retrieved from the INTOX Data Management System?

You can search the databases within the system in a number of different ways. The Query Builder component of the INTOX Data Management System is a sophisticated tool that enables complex questions to be asked of the data collected by the poisons centre. A few examples are:

  • to find substances and products by name, chemical name, CAS number, use;
  • to find the number of enquiries received about a specific substance in one or more age groups;
  • to find the number of enquiries where the patient was severely poisoned; and
  • to find the number of cases given a specific treatment.

What kind of reports can the INTOX Data Management System produce?

INTOX has a well-defined set of standard reports designed to meet the broad needs of poisons centres. These report formats were developed by an international working group. A number of other reports that have been requested by users of the system are also available. It is also possible to customize reports to meet a centre's specific needs. For example, a report can be constructed for enquiries received about a specific substance, displaying other information such as sex, age group, circumstances of exposure, etc.

Is the IPCS INTOX Package easy to use?

Absolutely! Although the IPCS INTOX Package is a powerful and comprehensive system, it is an intuitive system, which is easily learnt, usually in less than three days - even for those who have had no previous computer experience.

There is an extensive Help file that will guide you through the use of the system. INTOX System development staff at the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety are available by fax, e-mail and telephone. In addition, as a user of the system you can join the INTOX Users email discussion group to share tips and deal with problems.

Is there a network version available?

Yes. Multi-user data access is provided through LAN software such as netware. The multi-user versions support SQL Server 7 and better, and MSDE (Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine).

Is there System security?

Yes, through a system of password-controlled access, the Supervisor can designate who may view, add to, or change the case, substances and products databases.

In what languages can I use the INTOX Data Management System?

The INTOX Data Management System is currently available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish, and a Chinese version is under development.

What are the Hardware requirements?


  • INTOX V4.4 Standalone using Access 2000
  • INTOX V4.4 Multi-user using Access 2000
  • INTOX V4.4 Multi-user using SQL Server 2000 Enterprise or Standard Edition

the requirements are:

System Minimum Preferred
Processor Intel Pentium or compatible 166 MHz; Intel Pentium 4 or compatible 2.40 GHz or higher processor
Operating system Windows 98/ME or Windows XP Windows 2000 or Windows XP
Memory 32 MB of RAM or more 512 MB of RAM
Hard disk 2 GB of hard-disk space 20 GB hard-disk drive
Display VGA or higher-resolution monitor SVGA or higher-resolution monitor
Other requirements Microsoft Internet Explorer version 6.0 or later Microsoft Internet Explorer version 6.0 or later

How much does it cost to subscribe to the INTOX Data Management System?

IPCS INTOX System Price (annual subscription)
Single user version US dollars 1000
Network license for concurrent users:
2-5 users US dollars 2000
6-10 users US dollars 2500
11+ users US dollars 3000