Interpersonal violence is significantly more widespread than many imagine, and the impact of these patients on each health system can be hidden but highly impactful.

In California, healthcare providers are required to complete Suspicious Injury, Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect, and Suspected Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse and Neglect reports by hand on paper forms and submit a telephone report within a short timeframe.

Reasons for Underreporting

  1. Many healthcare workers face confusion on how to complete the process and do not realize their reporting requirement.
  2. There is often confusion on which jurisdiction to contact and submit the reports to.
  3. FAX machines and emailed attachments are not secure and are frequently submitted to incorrect recipients or dead ends.

Areas of Impact

  1. Cost of acute patient care
  2. Compliance with state and federal reporting laws
  3. Administrative costs
  4. Special data protections for reports
  5. Management of advocacy and patient services
  6. Healthcare provider morale and burnout

The information is often inconsistent, illegible, and is missing vital information, and communicated to recipient agencies without follow-up.