Examining the power of Child-At-Risk electronic medical record (eMR) alerts to share interpersonal violence, abuse and neglect concerns: Do child protection alerts help?
Public health services are uniquely positioned to respond to women and children experiencing violence. Access to relevant information about a client’s safety and wellbeing can enhance the quality and appropriateness of that response.
The Northern New South Wales Local Health District (NNSW LHD) developed a new system to identify and support at-risk children and pregnant women who present to health workers. An alert function was built into the health district’s existing electronic medical record system that offered an immediate notification of child safety and wellbeing concerns when the record is accessed. The purpose of the alert is to encourage health workers to talk to the patient concerned, or in the case of children, to their family, about referrals to support services and to share information with other relevant agencies as appropriate.
This project sought to understand the impact of this Child-At-Risk (CAR) electronic Medical Record (eMR) alert information sharing system on outcomes for women and children. This included understanding:
- how staff responded to seeing Child-At-Risk alerts on a client’s eMR;
- the practices that were carried out in response; and
- the perceived outcomes for clients.