We're all just stories in the end.
- Jul 11, 2013
- Reaction score
We can only do what the patient allows. When an assault is suspected, we notify several entities. Our in house social workers, LE and if applicable, DCFS. Unfortunately, some patients will leave AMA (against medical advice) when they think LE has been notified. In the end, we can't strap someone down and force them to be photographed and have injuries measured. We try hard to reason with them to stay though.
Thanks for posting. I have a friend who is an ER RN and she said pretty much what you stated. It's been a few years since we discussed this in depth, but I recall her telling me that, yes, they notify LE, assuming LE has not already been notified. In SP's case, it seems at least one LE entity knew prior to her transport to the ER.
My RN friend however said there was limited info she could provide LE without the patient's authorization. Name, age, general info about the nature of injuries - that sort of thing. Patient authorization didn't need to be writing, though. Verbal was fine, but had to be documented in the file before the ER staff could discuss specifics. I don't know if that was hospital policy or HIPAA. Not sure whether it's changed in recent years.
She handled a lot of SA and DV cases over the years and received special training in those. Not saying it was required, but I think it, plus her compassion, made her extra good at her job.