12. Establish an IPV Task Force

Experts in the field and published materials on best practices for healthcare providers regarding intimate partner violence call for the creation of a multidisciplinary IPV Task Force at each institution.

The purpose of the IPV Task Force should be to:

  • Promote awareness about IPV with staff and ensure that IPV training is an institution-wide expectation that is supported by allocating adequate time and incentives for staff participation;
  • Identify hospital staff training needs regarding IPV awareness, policies, protocols, referrals and competencies. Coordinate hospital staff trainings that meet the assessed needs;
  • Build relationships with local IPV advocates/services/experts to ensure comprehensive care for patients;
  • Make policy and practice recommendations related to IPV by reviewing and updating IPV Policies and Protocols;
  • Tour existing patient settings (e.g. emergency departments, examination rooms, waiting rooms, restrooms) looking for opportunities to improve the IPV assessment process and increase the public’s awareness about IPV and services (e.g. IPV awareness posters, brochures, and safety cards with available resources); and
  • Stay current on IPV trends and laws impacting healthcare services.

Hospital staff recognized as experts on IPV or enthusiastic, well-respected leaders should be invited to participate on the IPV Task Force. When possible, a hospital administrator should serve on the Task Force, or at minimum, the IPV Task Force should have the authority to make policy and protocol decisions and the ability to strategically think through system-wide changes for improved IPV assessments and services. An effective, sustainable IPV Task Force should spread the work of the group amongst its members to avoid burnout and prevent the collapse of the group if a key staff member no longer works for the hospital.

It is also recommended that a local IPV advocate be an active member on the IPV Task Force to provide technical assistance, IPV training planning and implementation, and case coordination.