Ohio Updates Sexual Assault Medical Protocols

The Ohio Protocol for Sexual Assault and Forensic and Medical Exams has issued its 2011 update to ensure physicians, hospitals, and other clinicians provide comprehensive, standardized, non-judgmental, equitable treatment to survivors of sexual assault.

 The protocol was originally required in 1991 by the Ohio General Assembly and is updated periodically after review of national protocols and best practices used in other states.  Major changes in the Fifth Edition (2011) include:

  • Use of a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) coordinated community approach
  • Requirement of Protocol Coordinator for Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) reimbursement program
  • Provision of anonymous kits to victims/survivors 18 and older
  • Web-based SAFE reimbursement form
  • Training requirements for SANEs and Physicians conducting pediatric exams
  • Increased time to conduct a forensic exam from 72 hours to 96 (four full days) following the assault.

The Fifth Edition was developed through the Ohio Attorney General’s Office with the assistance of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, American Academy of Pediatrics, Ohio Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, Ohio Chapter of the International Association of Forensic Nurses and Ohio Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

New forms in the protocols must be used by January 31, 2012. Hospitals are required to follow the protocol in order to be reimbursed by the Ohio Victims of Crime Compensation Fund.  It is unlawful to bill victims or their insurers for the cost of a sexual assault examination conducted to evidence. For forms and protocols, click here.

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