Grants

"Integrating this alert system into electronic health records provides a powerful tool in helping doctors and nurses recognize the signs of abuse, intervene in a timely fashion, and avoid having to treat the same children repeatedly for abuse." Rachel P. Berger, MD, MPH, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

Development and Dissemination of an Electronic Health Record Based Child Abuse Clinical Decision Support System Toolkit

Grant Application

Srinivasan Suresh MD, MBA, FAAP, and Rachel P. Berger, MD, MPH, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

Proposed Innovation

Physical abuse is the leading cause of death and disability in children. More than 3 million child abuse cases are reported each year to Child Protective Services across the United States; nearly 1,600 children die annually due to abuse. They include children evaluated previously by doctors who failed to recognize signs of abuse.

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC has developed a “trigger system” integrated into the Cerner electronic health record that has proven successful in helping doctors screen for child physical abuse. Through this project, a toolkit will be developed and distributed to enable pediatric emergency departments across the country that use the Cerner electronic health record to integrate the child abuse alert system into their own workflow, to expand the impact.

Improvements in Action

This project is the first step in a long-term goal of having a child abuse alert system integrated into the electronic health record at point-of-care, as a standard component in both pediatric and general emergency departments nationwide.

Intended Outcomes

Accurate and timely recognition of the early signs of child abuse is critical to limiting injury and reducing mortality. Widespread distribution of these toolkits and integration of the child abuse alert system into electronic health records in emergency departments across the country will improve screening, resulting in  early identification and improved outcomes for children.