An Original, Standardized, Emergency Department Sexual Assault Medication Order Sheet


I read this article in the Journal of Emergency Nursing. An interdisciplinary group at the Massachusetts General Hospital emergency department created a standardized sexual assault medication order sheet. It follows sexually transmitted disease (STD) and HIV non-occupational exposure recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH). It also includes alternative medications in the case of allergies to the first-line medications and features commentary for clinicians. The team believed that providing excellent standardized care to sexual assault patients was essential and improved the care while decreasing liability for nurses and physicians. Components of the medication order sheet included gonococcal infection, chlamydial infection, trichomoniasis, hepatitis B, pregnancy, tetanus, and HIV medication guidelines. It has been used for 1 year at the time of print of this article. It has received positive feedback that it is easy to use and eliminates confusion in choosing medications. In light of national data that demonstrate that sexual assault victims are not receiving adequate protections from infection and pregnancy it may be worthwhile for other institutions to adopt a similar approach to this national patient care problem.

Finkel: J Emerg Nurs, Volume 31(3).June2005.271-275

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