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AAP News: Can a Hospital-Wide Child Maltreatment Program Keep Children from Falling Through the Cracks?

By Dr. Rachel Y. Moon

Hospital-wide patient safety programs are frequently used to ensure consistent and appropriate care. In these programs, there is continual review of the data to assure that, hospital-wide, patient care is appropriate.

Children’s Mercy initiated such a program for the identification of child maltreatment. Dr. Jennifer Hansen and her colleagues at Children’s Mercy and University of Kansas describe the program, including outcomes, in an online article.

In this program, if any staff member in the emergency department, urgent care, inpatient service, or ambulatory clinic had concerns for child maltreatment, a hospital social worker completed a “Patient at Risk” (PAR) form in the electronic medical record. It is important to note that not all children with PARs were referred to CPS.

Each PAR was reviewed by the hospital child abuse and protection (CAP) team within 24 hours, and it was determined if additional information or intervention was needed.

Hospital staff may be reluctant to report cases of potential maltreatment to Child Protective Services, because of the potential implications of such a report. A hospital-wide safety program removes that emotional burden and angst from the hospital staff. 


Read the full article via American Academy of Pediatrics

Learn more about the program and outcomes via American Academy of Pediatrics

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