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EPIC-SCAN: Educating Physicians in Their Communities -- Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect

NCJ Number
Pennsylvania Progress Volume: 9 Issue: 1 Dated: July 2002 Pages: 1-8
Date Published
July 2002
7 pages
This newsletter reports on a community-based continuing medical education program, EPIC-SCAN, to change practice behavior at the office level of doctors, nurses, medical assistants, receptionists, administration, and support staff in the recognition of child physical and sexual abuse in Pennsylvania.
The EPIC-SCAN program was developed by the Child Abuse and Neglect Work Group in 1999, to train primary care providers who are also designated as "mandatory reporters" that are required to notify authorities whenever they have reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or neglect. A goal of the program is to forge direct human connections between primary medical care offices and local child protective services agencies. The training presenters are local professionals who have been recruited and trained to present the program, which includes identifying characteristics of children, parents, and families associated with child maltreatment, plus social situational stressors and situations that may trigger abuse. Common types of physical injuries are described such as head trauma, abdominal trauma fractures, bruises, and burns. Strategies are offered for recognizing when maltreatment is the cause. Since the program began in October of 1999, through June of 2002, presenters have delivered 241 presentations to a total of 4,100 health care professionals in Pennsylvania. An evaluation component has been built into the program consisting of statewide mail surveys. These surveys were followed by another survey asking the same questions to the same group but also sampling providers who did not attend an EPIC-SCAN presentation, in order to compare responses. At the time of this article, 24 States have requested information about this Pennsylvania program, and New Jersey is actively replicating the program, with Wisconsin seeking funds to do the same.

Date Published: July 1, 2002