174095 Collecting data on family violence related-visits to an emergency department in Oakland: Pilot project results and policy implications

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 8:45 AM

Janet Brown, MSc , Community Assessment, Planning and Education/Evaluation Unit, Alameda County Public Health Department, Oakland, CA
Hillary Larkin, PA-C , Highland Hospital, Oakland, CA
Family violence (FV) is estimated to be experienced by one third of women treated in hospital emergency departments (ED). A coordinated data collection system and timely follow-up could help FV victims to escape their abuse and reduce future risk of homicide. This session will present data analyses of FV-related visits to an ED in Oakland, California, discuss policy implications, and outline expansion plans for data collection.

Every year in Alameda County, 13,500 calls are made to battered women shelters, 7,500 domestic violence-related calls are made to law enforcement, and 3,000 Temporary Restraining Orders are filed. Since 1994, Highland General Hospital has administered a supplemental data collection form for FV cases. Analyses of the 1,497 forms provided information about the victim, the alleged assailant, and the circumstances surrounding the injury. Seventy-one percent of FV victims were assaulted by their intimate partner, 13% by a family member and 13% by an ex-partner. Two cases were later victims of a FV-related homicide. Results suggested the need to extend the hours of FV services as three-quarters of patients visited the ED outside of regular business hours, and increasing awareness of perceived “non-typical” victims such as men (16% of hospital FV victims) and child-parent homicides (13% of FV deaths).

Plans are underway to expand this project to all hospitals in Alameda County. Future goals are to: standardize the FV reporting form, create a secure web-based system for data collection, and provide an immediate referral to one centralized location for victims and their families.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify three patterns or characteristics of family violence related-visits to an Emergency Department. 2. Describe the potential role of an emergency department in preventing family violence. 3. List three advantages of a county-wide family violence reporting tool.

Keywords: Family Violence, Data Collection

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I did the data analysis
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.