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Relating to the care and transportation provided to a sexual assault survivor by a health care facility.
This bill would require the Department of State Health Services to designate health care facilities as SAFE-ready facilities if the facility notifies the department that they employ or contract with a certified sexual assault forensic examiner uses a telemedicine system to provide consultation to a licensed nurse or physician when conducting a sexual assault forensic examination.
A facility that is not designated at SAFE-ready would be required to notify a sexual assault survivor that they are not a SAFE-ready facility and that they are entitled to receive care there or be stabilized and transferred to a SAFE-ready facility. Before transferring a survivor, a facility that is not SAFE-ready would be required to contact the SAFE-ready facility that the person will be transferred to confirm that a sexual assault forensic examiner is available at the facility. Survivors at a facility that is not SAFE-ready would be to given an information form prescribed by the department regarding the benefits of forensic examination and an Internet address to the department's list of SAFE-ready facilities.
The department would also be required to post a list of SAFE-ready facilities on their website.
Each health care facility that has an emergency department is already required to have an approved plan for providing required services to sexual assault survivors who arrive at their facility. The law already requires that a healthcare facility be designated as a community-wide primary care facility for treating sexual assault survivors and that facilities not so designated must notify the assault survivor and offer the option to receive care at that facility or to be stabilized and transferred to the designated facility.
The updates this legislation would make to current statute are largely procedural and do not offend our liberty principles. We remain neutral.