Translational Projects (Open Access)

Graduation Date

Fall 2022

Degree Name

Doctorate in Health Informatics (DHI)

School Name

The University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics at Houston

Advisory Committee

Susan Fenton, Ph.D


Up to half of all child physical abuse victims with major abuse injuries seen in hospitals had sentinel injuries assessed by medical providers. Universal screening for child abuse and neglect in the emergency department can potentially increase detection at lower levels of injury. However, we must consider usability for the electronic health record embedded child abuse and neglect-screening tool to be most effective. The user most likely to interact with the screening tool is the bedside nurse. The interface of the initial screening tool and the process of inputting information must be perceived as useful, usable, and satisfying to the bedside nurse. The alert for a positive screen needs to achieve the right balance in visual hierarchy and workflow while avoiding alert fatigue and information overload in an already busy space. This project addresses the lack of robust universal child abuse and neglect screening in the Texas Children’s Hospitals’ emergency department. It also aims to address the gap in the literature on electronic health record-embedded child abuse and neglect screening tool usability. In addition, it seeks to address the gap in the literature on child abuse, neglect screening, and response protocols, as well as expand those protocols so they encompass support services for families affected by the sequela of poverty to avoid future states of neglect.


Technology acceptance, usability, child abuse screening, emergency department, response protocols, pediatric, electronic health record



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