The emergency department as a violence prevention center

J Am Med Womens Assoc (1972). May-Jul 1996;51(3):92-5, 117.


No longer confined to the criminal justice system alone, violence is now regarded as a major health care issue in America. Changes are apparent not only in health care delivery, but also in medical school curricula, residency training board examinations, and accreditation. Although tertiary prevention demands the most acute attention, opportunities for secondary prevention are important and often neglected, especially when the immediate health care issue is not related to violence. This article describes the development of the Emergency Department as a Violence Prevention Center program, established at The George Washington University Medical Center. The program moves beyond responding to acute cases of violence only and considers the hospital emergency department as an active player in a community-wide effort to end violence. It does this through universal screening, assessment, treatment and other interventions, documentation, and patient and professional education.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • District of Columbia
  • Domestic Violence / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Domestic Violence / prevention & control*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Medical History Taking / methods
  • Medical Records
  • Patient Care Planning