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NPDS Special Projects Manager - Data, Coding, Clinical Information

Organization Description:

Located in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that represents the nation’s 55 regional poison control centers (PCCs), which provide free, private, expert information and treatment advice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, through the national Poison Help line—1-800-222-1222. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), funds the Poison Help line, and provides limited grant funding to PCCs. The Poison Control Program is authorized through Public Law 113-77, the Poison Center Network Act. Calls to poison control are answered primarily by certified specialists in poison information (e.g., specially trained nurses, toxicologists, pharmacists, and physicians). Each year, U.S. PCCs answer more than three million calls about drug, consumer product, animal, environmental, food poisoning, and other issues. AAPCC accredits PCCs, certifies specialists in poison information, coordinates national-level poison education and prevention programs and collaborations, coordinates national meetings among poison center directors, toxicologists, and poison control educators, and provides advocacy support on issues relevant to poison control.

AAPCC also owns and operates the National Poison Data System (NPDS). With data uploaded every 8 minutes, NPDS has 60 million case records, product-specific data about more than 430,000 products, and can detect and track poison exposure outbreaks. Finally, AAPCC collaborates with federal agencies such as HRSA, CDC, FDA, DEA, and EPA, as well as private industry.

Position Description: 

This position is primarily responsible for coordination and oversight of the development, implementation, and maintenance of a large, dynamic, constantly evolving coding schema and clinical information database comprised of potentially toxic products and substances (e.g., pharmaceuticals, pesticides, cleaning products) and non-commercial plant and animal toxins, with upwards of a half million codes. 

Such coding scheme will require:

  • Compatibility with other databases (e.g., a higher-level “generic” toxin and poison coding database and databases used by governmental agencies such as the FDA and EPA),
  • Backward compatibility with decades of historical AAPCC data,
  • Interoperability with NPDS and four distinct but similar “front end” technical coding platforms,
  • Integration with a clinical information system required for concurrent use by PCCs in patient triage and clinical care. 

The Project Manager will: 

  • Work with, and coordinate, a group of coding experts made up of coding-savvy directors of poison control centers and certain technical vendors.
  • Be responsible for investigating opportunities and developing strategies for the database platform—such strategies comprised of business, legal (with assistance), coding, and technical considerations—for the Board of Directors to consider.
  • Draft a request for proposal (RFP) and assist in the selection of a technical vendor for development of the database.
  • Be responsible for investigating opportunities and develop strategies to integrate new coding scheme with clinical information system(s) available by information system vendors and coordinate a methodology to incorporate the coding scheme into their informational system for PCCs to use in managing patients.
  • Lead the day-to-day operations of database development and integration into clinical information system with selected vendors.
  • Develop a system to ensure products are comprehensively inserted into the database and develop a process for the registration of new products and link new products/codes to relevant clinical information entries and monographs.
  • Lead relationships (to the extent pertaining to coding) with various government entities.
  • Work with the Vice President of National Data Services on relationships with the NPDS technical vendor, the four front-end technical coding platform vendors, and the clinical information system vendor.
  • Work with the Executive Director on matters related to the Board of Directors and all poison control center membership.
  • Draft grant proposals to assist in funding the database development. (No more than 10-15% of time is expected to be spent on grant writing).
  • While the above-described project will be the first priority, this position may also lead other major projects that affect NPDS data quality.
  • Other duties as assigned. 

The Project Manager role is relevant to health informatics, clinical coding, public health, “big data,” information technology, project management, and business, and is ideal for an experienced professional with an interest creating a new schema that will positively impact patient care and public health.

This position reports directly to the Vice President of National Data Services.   

Position Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree in health informatics, public health, epidemiology, toxicology, pharmacology, information technology, database management, project management, or related fields.
  • Graduate degree in any of the foregoing (or Masters in Business Administration) preferred.
  • PMP certification preferred.
  • Demonstrated expertise in health-related data or health informatics required.
  • Three-to-five years of project management experience preferred.
  • Comfort with strategy development, RFP drafting, and database hosting (in connection with external IT experts) preferred.
  • History of coordinating data quality initiatives preferred.
  • General knowledge of information technology as it relates to complex databases and knowledge of SQL server relational databases and SQL query methods preferred.
  • Experience with grant writing preferred.
  • Ability to take initiative and be proactive.
  • Comfortable conducting presentations.
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to successfully manage multiple project activities effectively and independently.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to effectively communicate with internal and external audiences.
  • Excellent verbal and professional writing skills.

Travel is typically expected at least twice each year: For AAPCC’s annual Midyear Directors’ Meeting, which is 3-4 days between February and April, and for the annual North American Congress of Clinical Toxicology, which is 4-5 days between September and October. Each of those events typically require commitment of evening and weekend work. Some additional conference or meeting travel may be requested as required by contract deliverables, but no other evening or weekend work is expected.

Partial to majority remote work will be considered for the right candidate.