This project will entail research related to the usage, training, and results of an electronic flow sheet that focuses on screening adolescents that pose as high risk for sexual exploitation. The primary aim will be analyzing the flow sheet regarding sexual exploitation at a full serviced Midwestern, 600-bed Children’s hospital. The purpose of this project is to create an electronic flow sheet in EPIC to assist in identifying, treating, and managing at-risk adolescents who present to the Emergency Department with chief complaints of sexual exploitation. Forming a new electronic flow sheet that will notify multidisciplinary teams will help set up a safety plan in real time. This flow sheet will trigger a flag activated by the forensic nurses’ discretion to help the possibility that these patients are not overlooked prior to discharge. Sexual exploitation of adolescents is a largely under-recognized form of child abuse that often presents in Emergency Rooms. Through research sexual exploitation was discovered to be a major problem nationally and internationally. It is crucial that emergency department nurses become knowledgeable about the signs of trafficking. There are factors in which the emergency nurse will learn to identify these victims. Certain diseases, criminal history, education level, one’s culture and society are all factors that victims may have. During the initial screening process, a triage nurse will assess the patient and gather primary reasons they are coming into the emergency department. Based on a score generated from a current documentation flow sheet, further development of the flow sheet will allow for more in depth drop-down questions based on the victim’s answers. This allows for more time with the patient, less chart review, and improved function of data tracking for these patients in EPIC and risk factor data tracking. Working in inpatient and outpatient departments, the hospital is continuously improving the way that care is delivered, while improving the overall wellness of children who walk through the doors. It is the aim of this organization to protect patient confidentiality, but to support all staff and professionals to work at their highest level of licensure. Collaborating with multidisciplinary teams across the medical center is crucial to creating interventions for preventing sexual exploitation and removing barriers of care for treatment to begin faster. Monthly education may or may not improve emergency room nurses understanding of these at-risk victims. This process may help expand knowledge to emergency room nurses about screening protocols for possible sexual exploitation cases. The researcher of this project had wanted to create a electronic flow sheet that triggers positive patients of sexual exploitation in EPIC. It was a goal of the project to educate, expand, and make sure that these at-risk victims are not overlooked. Once more education is taught, the researcher has an expectation to continue to update policies, procedures, and guidelines to better current practice. This is an on-going project; there is not a remedy of effectiveness of the electronic flow sheet, or EPIC flag for assisting victims of sexual exploitation that enter the emergency department. Current practice showed to be working, but has also proven that the forensic nurses were being extremely underutilized for their scope of practice and that there can be better treatment for adolescents who enter through the emergency room doors. Having this flow sheet may help adolescents who are sexually exploited, and ultimately may change the outcome of the care that victim’s receive.
Kohorst, Brittany, "Screening Adolescents at High Risk for Sexual Exploitation" (2020). Master of Science in Nursing Scholarly Project. 17.