Our study of hospitals centers around three counties: Lubbock, Tarrant, and Travis. Project staff targeted facilities, with a range of sizes, in both urban and rural settings. Two of the areas coincide with the focus of the research efforts relating to criminal justice and laboratory response (Tarrant and Travis Counties). By using these two counties for our evaluations of both SB1191 and SB1636, we will develop a comprehensive understanding of the effect of both laws. The third focus of the hospital work is a more rural area (Lubbock County). We felt it important to include a rural area, since SB1191 is expected to have the greatest impact on hospitals in rural areas.
Interviews have been conducted with key personnel, including emergency room administrators, SANE Program Managers, Directors of Nursing, and Chief Nursing Officers, to determine their awareness of the requirements of SB1191 and actions they have taken to implement it. Interviews are also being used to collect information about the procedures used to transfer SAKs to police agencies.
In all, representatives from 18 facilities (5 with SANE programs and 13 without SANE programs) in Dallas, Lubbock, and Austin were interviewed to determine their awareness and compliance with SB1191, glean information regarding any challenges faced by emergency room personnel, and understand the innovations that have arisen in the wake of SB1191.
In each of the hospitals in our sampling frame, we also attempted to collect data to determine whether implementation of SB1191 has resulted in an increased number of victims receiving a sexual assault medical forensic examination and/or fewer victims sent to other facilities for exams. Because SB1191 was expected to result in an increased number of specially trained medical providers, one would also expect an increase in the numbers of sexual assault victims who receive treatment. In the course of the interviews with hospital staff, project staff are attempting to obtain any statistics of the numbers of sexual assault forensic exams performed.
A draft report has been completed and is under review.