Just Read: Transforming the Health Care Response to Intimate Partner Violence

Co-authored by one of my favorite physician colleagues, Brigid McCaw, MD (@BrigidMcCaw) whose work is an example of what happens when physicians lead.

Clinicians use tools embedded in the electronic health record to facilitate screening, intervention, documentation, and referrals. Electronic health record questionnaires and progress note tem- plates include prompts for further inquiry (eg, “Are you currently in a relationship where you feel threatened by your partner?”), assessment, and response. Diagnostic documentation related to intimate partner violence is confidential (eg, not visible on after-visit summaries, billing statements, or online patient portals). Microsites linked to the electronic health record offer practice rec- ommendations for clinicians and easy-to-print resources on safety planning and advocacy organizations for patients. Electronic health record functionality also provides automated, deidentified diagnostic databases that allow for population description and research to identify predictors and outcomes associated with intimate partner violence exposure.

You can read more about Brigid in this blog post I wrote previously: Giving the voiceless a voice using social media, family violence prevention, and a walk with Brigid McCaw, MD.

I follow Brigid’s work because there are lessons in what she does for all efforts to improve human health. She makes wicked problems less wicked. She is one of a group of physicians I know who don’t see a large health system as a hurdle. For them it’s the opposite – an unlimited opportunity to make a lot of people’s lives better. Take a look, you’ll see it, too 🙂 .

Ted Eytan, MD