EHR-based Screening and Intervention for Intimate Partner Violence (South Carolina)

Project Details - Ongoing

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Summary:

Violence against women is a serious public health problem and a human rights issue. While the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPTF) recommends intimate partner violence (IPV) screening for women of childbearing age, screening rates are low. Moreover, IPV screening has not been shown to increase rates of referral for IPV counseling or improve health outcomes. Limited effectiveness of IPV screening programs may be due to a lack of system-level changes to fully support women experiencing IPV.

This project will design, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive set of tools in an electronic health record (EHR) to support improved IPV care. The intervention includes self-reported questionnaires embedded in the EHR, clinical decision support for IPV screening and detection, telehealth referrals to national IPV counseling services, and EHR modifications to support billing for IPV services. The project team will test the intervention with a randomized controlled trial at 28 primary care clinics at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). The impact of the intervention will be measured by comparing rates of IPV diagnosis and referral to counseling services for the intervention versus usual care conditions. Provider productivity and reimbursements will also be assessed.

The specific aims of this project are as follows:

  • To create a replicable systematic process using an EHR for screening patients for IPV, detecting those at risk, and facilitating their referral and entry into counseling. 
  • To deploy and test the automated system for IPV care in MUSC primary care and women’s health clinics. 

The team hypothesizes that the intervention will reduce barriers to IPV services and increase referral rates. If effective, the IPV tools may be scaled to all patients served by the EHR.

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