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Delaware Hospitals Against Human Trafficking

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Computer rendition of the new Bayhealth Sussex campus (Photo credit: Bayhealth) Computer rendition of the new Bayhealth Sussex campus (Photo credit: Bayhealth)

DELAWARE-Delaware hospitals are doing there part to limit human trafficking in the First State.

The Delaware Healthcare Association says they have coordinated victim identification protocol and it has been adopted by all hospitals throughout the state.

According to the release, "It will allow more of those imprisoned by the tragedy of human trafficking to be identified and rescued. We believe Delaware is the first state to advance a common human trafficking identification protocol on a statewide basis," the release states. 
 
The Delaware Healthcare Association’s (DHA) Human Trafficking Medical Committee unveiled recommendations yesterday for each hospital to adopt as part of a statewide approach.

The Human Trafficking Medical Committee was formed back February 2018 at the direction of the DHA Board of Directors to address human trafficking in the health care setting in Delaware by aligning efforts with the state’s Human Trafficking Interagency Coordinating Council (the “HTICC”). 
 
According to DHA's release,

“Studies have shown that 88% of human trafficking victims were seen by a health care provider while they are being trafficked. Hospitals have a unique and important opportunity to identify and help victims,” said DHA President & CEP Wayne A. Smith.

“Delaware is leading the way thanks to the hard work and coordination of our hospitals and support of our state partners, and we encourage other states to join in similar efforts to combat human trafficking.” 
 
“Through a year-long process of research and shared learning, the Committee has developed recommendations for each hospital to implement that include education and step-by-step protocols designed to empower hospital employees to identify the signs of human trafficking and to respond to the victim in a trauma-informed, patient centered manner,” said Annamarie McDermott, MSW, ACM-SW, Director of Care Management for Saint Francis Hospital & Co-Chair of the Human Trafficking Medical Committee.
 
Dawn Culp, MSN, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P, FNE, Bayhealth, & Co-Chair of the Human Trafficking Medical Committee said, “I have seen first-hand how being vigilant and aware of the potential signs of human trafficking -- which may include a chaperone not leaving the patient alone or not letting them speak for themselves or a patient not being aware of where they are -- has allowed nurses to identify victims and get them the help they need before it is too late,” said  
 
The Committee is Chaired by Saint Francis Hospital’s Annamarie McDermott, MSW, ACM-SW and Bayhealth’s Dawn Culp, MSN, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P, FNE and includes members from each of the hospitals in Delaware, representatives behavioral health facilities in the state, the Medical Society of Delaware, state government and other key stakeholders.
 
The Committee’s recommendations, released today, include the following:

  1. Staff education with Human Trafficking 101 – Hospitals are encouraged to implement training using the National Human Trafficking Resource Center power point presentation, or similar content.
  2. Use of Human Trafficking Assessment Questions – Intended to assist clinicians in identifying red flags. 
  3. Implementation of Human Trafficking Algorithm – A step-by-step process of recognizing and responding to suspected trafficking, including links to key resources.
  4. Use of ICD-10-CM codes for data collection on adult or child forced labor or sexual exploitation – Utilization of the codes is key to collecting data on trafficking that will better streamline future response and help with allocation of resources. Hospitals are encouraged to implement the codes with the help of the American Hospital Association fact sheet and training on use of the codes.  
  5. Use of the Juvenile Memorandum – The memorandum developed by the Child Protection Accountability Commission (CPAC) provides an overview of how to address instances when a suspected victim of trafficking is a minor. Each hospital should discuss the memorandum with their legal department with regard to handling documentation. 

 
Each hospital in Delaware will work to implement the recommendations over the next year.

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