PA 15-16—sSB 966

Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING SEXUAL ASSAULT FORENSIC EXAMINERS AT INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION

SUMMARY: This act allows sexual assault forensic examiners (SAFE) to treat sexual assault victims who are patients in a health care facility operated by a higher education institution. SAFEs may treat these patients if the health care facility is (1) licensed by the Department of Public Health (DPH) as an infirmary operated by an educational institution or as an outpatient clinic and (2) accredited by the Joint Commission or the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (see BACKGROUND). Prior law allowed SAFEs to treat only acute care hospital patients.

The act also allows SAFEs working in higher education health care facilities, like SAFEs in acute care hospitals, to collect evidence pertaining to the investigation of any sexual assault using the State of Connecticut Technical Guidelines for Health Care Response to Victims of Sexual Assault (see BACKGROUND).

The act requires that SAFE services provided in a higher education health care facility, as they are under existing law in acute care hospitals, be (1) aligned with the facility's policies and accreditation and (2) pursuant to a written agreement between the health care facility and (a) DPH and (b) the Office of Victim Services, about the facility's participation in the SAFE program.

These provisions do not alter the scope of the practice of nursing established in state law.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2015

BACKGROUND

Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFE)

SAFEs are state-licensed (1) registered nurses, (2) advanced practice registered nurses, or (3) physicians (CGS 19a-112g).

Joint Commission

The Joint Commission is an independent, nonprofit organization that accredits and certifies more than 20,500 health care organizations and programs in the United States.

Technical Guidelines for Health Care Response to Victims of Sexual Assault

The state's Commission on the Standardization of the Collection of Evidence in Sexual Assault Investigations publishes these guidelines (CGS 19a-112a).

OLR Tracking: MGS: JR: TA: cmg