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Behavioral health practitioners are increasingly comfortable using Electronic Health Records (EHR), particularly when they can access specialized tools such as EHR-embedded child abuse clinical decision support systems. These tools integrate with EHRs to assist healthcare professionals in making informed decisions about potential child abuse cases when correct decisions must often be made swiftly and correctly. While clinical decision support systems may have been limited to large healthcare systems in the past, they can be expected to flow to all aspects of healthcare as artificial intelligence systems are deployed to serve as key agents in compiling data to intervene effectively. When used to address problems such as effective child abuse reporting, EHR-equipped systems can utilize patient data to provide evidence-based recommendations for healthcare professionals to more effectively standardize child abuse detection and reporting.


  • Electronic Health Records (EHRs): Digital versions of a patient’s paper charts containing comprehensive medical history and real-time data.
  • Clinical Decision Support (CDS) Systems: Health information technology systems designed to assist healthcare providers in implementing clinical guidelines at the point of care.
  • EHR-Embedded Child Abuse CDS: A protocol embedded in software that uses patient-specific data, including medical history, presentation, and physical examination results, to guide healthcare professionals in assessing potential child abuse cases.
    • Flags suspicious injuries or patterns
    • Provides reminders about screening questions or assessments
    • Offers resources or next steps if abuse is suspected.
  • Significance: Helps standardize and improve child abuse detection, which can be challenging due to its complex and sensitive nature.
  • Limitation: EHR-embedded CDS should be used as a tool to support, but not replace, clinical judgment. The final decision always rests with the healthcare professional.

From Telebehavioral Health Institute – Read More


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