List of Key Elements of Family Violence Protocols

The 1993-94 Emergency Medicine Practice Committee's Subcommittee on Key Elements of Domestic Violence Protocols has developed the following list of the key elements which should be covered in emergency department domestic violence protocols for both practice and reporting purposes. This list was based on a review of a variety of organizational and hospital protocols and on comments received from the Domestic Violence Task Force.

Please note that an information paper is developed to raise awareness and/or present information on a topic, but does not articulate College policy and is not approved by the Board of Directors.

1. Criteria for Identification must address:

physical assault

sexual assault

abuse or neglect of:

elders
spouses
partners
children
persons with disabilities

2. Procedures for Evaluation must address:

patient consent for:
medical examination
collection of evidence
release of information
photographs

roles and responsibilities of members of ED staff:

EMS
security staff
intake staff
triage staff
social services

provider staff:

interview
examination
collection of physical evidence
photographing injuries
reporting the incident
patient confidentiality
treatment plan

hospital's responsibility for chain of evidence

notification of and release of information to proper authorities as required in each state

3. Consideration of Safety of patient and provider staff

4. Referral to another location or organization for evaluation and treatment when appropriate

5. Aftercare and referral to community agencies

6. Medical record Documentation must include:

examinations
treatment
referrals
reporting as required by state law

7. Education plan for staff, must include providing emotional support for staff

8. Prevention, which should include:

risk assessment
interaction with batterer
patient education
community issues

9. Quality Assessment and Management program

10. Appendices

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