PCORI implementation projects promote the use of findings from PCORI-funded studies. This project focuses on implementing findings from the completed PCORI-funded research project: Using Computer Alert Systems in the Emergency Room to Screen for Child Abuse
This project is in progress.
What were the results from the original PCORI-funded research study?
Often, doctors don’t recognize signs of child abuse and may not screen for it as part of the care they provide. The research team developed a child abuse alert system. Then they built it into an electronic health record, or EHR, system, in the UPMC Health Care System in Western Pennsylvania. This system helps doctors identify signs of possible abuse in children younger than 13 years old. The system also helps doctors to perform the right evaluation and report cases, when appropriate, to Child Protective Services.
Why is this research finding important?
Child abuse is a leading cause of death and disability in children. Child Protective Services receives more than 3 million reports of child abuse every year. In addition, almost 1,600 children die from child abuse each year.
What is the goal of this project?
The project team wants to help other hospitals use the alert system. In this project, they are adding it to EHRs in two healthcare systems in Wisconsin and New York.
What is the project team doing?
The project team is adapting the alert system so that it can work in the EHRs used by the two healthcare systems. After they check that the alert system is working well and is easy to use, the team will train doctors, nurses, social workers, and other staff to use it. They will look at whether using the system improves the care of children who are possible victims of abuse or neglect.
How is the team evaluating this project?
The team wants to make sure that health system staff are using the alert system as intended. They also want to make sure that the alert system is helping staff to find, evaluate, and report possible cases of child abuse.
How is the team involving patients and others in making sure the findings reach people who can use them?
Emergency department directors, pediatricians, nurses, social workers, representatives of children’s advocacy organizations, and others are working with the project team to help make sure the alert system works well in the two new healthcare systems and at other hospitals in the future.