Algorithm for Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect

June 7, 2008 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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This algorithm reviews the steps that should be taken when abuse is suspected by a physician. Reports of suspected child abuse or neglect must be timely and objective and must be submitted to the proper authorities. It is equally important that a report of child abuse be filed without undue delay. A trial jury is likely to look askance at a healthcare professional who, without justifiable reason, delays reporting a case of suspected abuse after examining the patient, especially if the child is seriously injured during that interim.

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