Reuters (8/29) reports that a study published online Aug. 27 in the journal Pediatrics (8/29) found that routine screening of abuse in children treated in the ER appears to have improved child abuse detection rates in the Netherlands. Researchers involved with the study tested a checklist that nurses in the ER used to screen for possible abuse. If a child was found to exhibit any of the checklist’s warning signs, the nurse would inform a physician who was responsible for investigating further. While acknowledging that the use of a standard checklist may have improved abuse detection rates in Netherlands, Dr. Michael J. Gerardi, who serves on the board of the American College of Emergency Physicians, doubted that the findings could be applicable in the US. Gerardi suggests that electronic medical records hold more promise than standard checklists in detecting abuse.
— “Routine screening catches child abuse in ER, “Amy Norton, Reuters, August 28, 2012.