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Implementing SANE Programs in Rural Communities: The West Virginia Regional Mobile SANE Project
Publication Date:  June 2008
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Office of Justice Programs Seal   Office for Victims of Crime, Putting Victims First

Hiring Personnel and Developing Procedures

Two months before project startup, FRIS hired a project administrator (see job description) to work with FRIS 10 hours a week to—

  • Coordinate with participating hospitals to develop protocols and procedures.

  • Purchase medical storage carts for each facility and stock them with the supplies and equipment necessary for the forensic examination. (The carts are locked while not in use; each SANE has a key that opens all the carts.)

  • Create a resource manual for each SANE. (A manual is also stored in the storage carts.)

  • Develop SANE-related contracts, forms, job descriptions and applications, and procedures.

  • Devise an on-call system for SANEs. The project administrator schedules the SANEs and provides each emergency department director with a copy of the schedule. (The emergency department director contacts the on-call SANE if a patient presenting as a sexual assault victim arrives at a hospital. The project administrator serves as a SANE backup.)

  • Develop procedures for payroll. The project administrator processes SANE timecards and payments through the host hospital.

  • Devise a system for gathering case data needed for quarterly statistical and financial reports. For the hospital to bill the project for an examination, SANEs must fill out a data collection sheet and submit it to the project administrator within 24 hours after an examination.

Paying attention to details allowed the project to get off to a smooth start. The project administrator and FRIS realized, for example, that it could be problematic for SANEs to dispense medications to patients at a facility in which they were not employees. As a remedy, standing orders were developed at each facility listing medications typically needed in these cases. Physicians would sign orders that enabled staff nurses rather than SANEs to dispense these medications as needed in each case.

The rape crisis centers also each hired an advocate coordinator for 20 hours a week to expand their capacity to provide advocacy services to sexual assault victims who present at local hospitals. During project startup, these coordinators communicated with the hospitals to develop on-call advocate protocols, recruited volunteer advocates, worked with FRIS to provide training, and transitioned their agencies into absorbing this service. An MOU was created to outline the details of the collaboration between the rape crisis center and FRIS (view MOU).