Document Type

Poster

Publication Date

2021

Abstract

Annual occurrences of sexual assault continue to rise nationally with an estimated 300,000 reported cases a year (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network, 2020). The care of the sexual assault victim is highly complex and time sensitive. Literature has revealed that having a specialized provider, such as a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE), conduct the examination and gather evidence is best practice care. Although institutions across the United States have begun to establish SANE programs within their emergency departments, the development and expansion has been very much delayed. As a result, many places are unable to offer the appropriate care to victims. The purpose of this project is to propose the intervention of tele-nursing as a way to increase the accessibility of SANEs for the care of adult sexual assault victims. As evidenced by literature, telehealth as a method of patient care has proven to be a feasible alternative to in-person care. A comprehensive review of literature indicates positive outcomes associated with the sexual assault patient population. Specifically, studies found an increase in consent to telehealth services for the exam process, an increase in healthcare provider satisfaction, a decrease in overall exam length, and higher scores in exam accuracy when compared to exams conducted by untrained professionals (Miyamoto et al., 2020). Although this intervention was not actually implemented, the design outlines a three phase process to implement telehealth services in a large hospital organization in northeastern Ohio. The phased process works to satisfy all legal, ethical, regulatory, and financial considerations necessary for a telehealth service. When an appropriate case presents, the method of implementation utilizes another three phase process for the entire examination encounter. This consists of a pre-encounter, encounter, and post encounter phase all conducted via telehealth consultation. A review of the current staff’s perceptions on telehealth revealed an overall acceptance of the service, positive predictions, and few areas of concern. As the world of healthcare continues to evolve, professionals must continue to advocate for the patient to ensure the best possible care is delivered. Tele-nursing as a solution for timely and competent care helps patients across the nation locate appropriate treatment and achieve recovery goals, while offering providers a practical alternative to in-person care.

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