Tips for Providers
If your patient reports that they were sexually assaulted, find out when the assault occurred. For adult and adolescent patients (aged 13+), a medical-forensic exam can be completed within 7 days of the reported assault. For pediatric patients (aged 12 and under), a medical-forensic exam can be completed if the last known contact with the potential assailant was in the last 3 days. Ensure that the patient is within the established timeframes to receive care from us. If you are a provider at a medical facility that is not one of our partner hospitals, arrange for the patient to be transported to one of the hospitals we serve. The patient may be transported via taxi, personal vehicle, etc. Patients under the age of 13 may only be seen by our team at Hennepin Healthcare or M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.
If you are a provider at one of our partner hospitals, call 612-873-5832 and select option 1 to page the on-call forensic nurse. The nurse that is on call will speak with you briefly about the patient, and then provide their ETA, if the patient is appropriate for our services.
Let the patient know that they can have a friend or family member accompany them to the exam. If possible, instruct the patient not to urinate. If the patient must urinate, ensure the urine sample stays with the patient until the on-call forensic nurse arrives as it will be collected as evidence. If there is a concern for oral assault, refrain from giving the patient food or drink. When possible, keep the patient in the clothes that they arrived in.
It is appropriate for you to provide medical care, pain medication, and comfort measures to the patient if needed prior to our arrival. If you give the patient medications that may prevent them from participating in an exam, please let the on-call forensic nurse know prior to their arrival.
Patients need to be alert, oriented, and able to actively participate in the process for 3-4 hours to have an exam. If there are circumstances that are preventing your patient from consenting to the exam that is unlikely to resolve in a timely manner, such as lack of consciousness or intubation, but you think there is a need for a medical-forensic exam, please consult with the forensic nurse on-call.