Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Electronic Medical Records Could Be Used As A Predictor Of Domestic Abuse

Date:
September 30, 2009
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Doctors could predict a patient's risk of receiving a domestic abuse diagnosis years in advance by using electronic medical records as an early warning system, according to new research.

Doctors could predict a patient's risk of receiving a domestic abuse diagnosis years in advance by using electronic medical records as an early warning system, according to research published on the British Medical Journal website.

Lead author Dr Ben Reis from the Children's Hospital Boston Informatics Program and Harvard Medical School investigated whether the wealth of historical electronic data could be used to flag up high risk patients.

Reis says: "Doctors typically do not have the time to thoroughly review a patient's historical records during the brief clinical encounter. As a result, certain conditions that could otherwise be detected are often missed. One such condition is domestic abuse, which may go unrecognised for years as it is masked by acute complaints that form the basis of clinical encounters."

Domestic abuse is the most common cause of nonfatal injury to women in the United States, accounting for more than half the murders of women every year. It affects both men and women and can result in serious injury and death. Given this, say the researchers, "it is critical that at–risk patients be identified as early as possible".

While evidence demonstrates that screening is a useful tool in detecting domestic abuse, the authors believe that doctors "may not be taking full advantage of the growing amounts of longitudinal data stored in electronic health information systems".

The authors analysed medical records from over 500,000 non-identifiable patients over 18 years of age for whom they had at least four years' data on admissions to hospital and visits to emergency departments. The patients had over 16 million diagnoses among them and cases of abuse were identified according to established record-keeping codes.

The researchers developed a scoring system to predict which patients were likely to receive a domestic abuse diagnosis. The system was successfully able to predict future diagnoses of abuse an average of 10-30 months in advance.

Certain risk factors were strongly associated with a future diagnosis of abuse. For women the risk was highest after being seen in hospital or the emergency department for injuries, poisoning, and alcoholism. For men being seen for mental health conditions such as depression and psychosis conferred the greatest risk of a subsequent diagnosis of domestic abuse.

They also developed a prototype risk-visualisation environment which provides clinicians with instant overviews of longitudinal medical histories and related risk profiles at the point of care. According to the authors: "In conjunction with alerts for high-risk patients, this could enable clinicians to rapidly review and act on all available historical information by identifying important risk factors and long-term trends."

Reis maintains that these risk profiles could help doctors diagnose domestic abuse much earlier, perhaps many years in advance. He points out that: "With increasing amounts of data becoming available, this work has the potential to bring closer the vision of predictive medicine, where vast quantities of information are used to predict individuals' future medical risks in order to improve medical care and diagnosis."

 


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Electronic Medical Records Could Be Used As A Predictor Of Domestic Abuse." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090929194203.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2009, September 30). Electronic Medical Records Could Be Used As A Predictor Of Domestic Abuse. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090929194203.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Electronic Medical Records Could Be Used As A Predictor Of Domestic Abuse." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090929194203.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) — Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins