The Institute of Medicine, United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), and national healthcare organizations recommend screening and counseling for intimate partner violence (IPV) within the US healthcare setting. The Affordable Care Act includes screening and brief counseling for IPV as part of required free preventive services for women. Thus, IPV screening and counseling must be implemented safely and effectively throughout the healthcare delivery system. Health professional education is one strategy for increasing screening and counseling in healthcare settings, but studies on improving screening and counseling for other health conditions highlight the critical role of making changes within the healthcare delivery system to drive desired improvements in clinician screening practices and health outcomes. This article outlines a systems approach to the implementation of IPV screening and counseling, with a focus on integrated health and advocacy service delivery to support identification and interventions, use of electronic health record (EHR) tools, and cross-sector partnerships. Practice and policy recommendations include (1) ensuring staff and clinician training in effective, client-centered IPV assessment that connects patients to support and services regardless of disclosure; (2) supporting enhancement of EHRs to prompt appropriate clinical care for IPV and facilitate capturing more detailed and standardized IPV data; and (3) integrating IPV care into quality and meaningful use measures. Research directions include studies across various health settings and populations, development of quality measures and patient-centered outcomes, and tests of multilevel approaches to improve the uptake and consistent implementation of evidence-informed IPV screening and counseling guidelines.
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