Case Study: Texas Forensic Nurse Examiners (TXFNE)
Lutech's LT-300 Colposcopes become a Vital Tool in Expediting Patient Forensic Examinations
Texas Forensic Nurse Examiners (TXFNE), a non-profit, community-based organization established in 2019, has grown significantly since its inception. TXFNE now boasts two clinical locations, as well as eight community partner clinics and 47 partner hospital/urgent care facilities. Its mission is to assist victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, elder abuse, child abuse, and sexual assault.
TXFNE founder and current Chief Executive Officer Khara Breeden, who served as a forensic nurse since 2011, realized after six years working with abuse victims that there was a considerable gap in forensic nursing services. As an ardent victims’ rights advocate, Dr. Breeden has dedicated her professional career to forensic nursing and to alleviating the suffering of abuse victims. Amassing some of the best trauma nurses in the region, her goal was to elevate the standards in forensic exams and to provide optimal care to patients while, at the same time, arranging for the collection of precise evidence to allow the legal process to move forward.
Due to the sensitive nature of the work, and the fact that patients are frequently traumatized when they arrive for an examination, TXFNE forensic nursing professionals needed a state-of-the-art system to gather pertinent clinical information and collect data for litigation. They had the intention to accomplish both efforts in a way that minimized the impact on patients who are already victims of abuse. TXFNE forensic nurses go to great lengths to perform a thorough examination during the first visit to protect victims from having to undergo a second lengthy and emotionally arduous procedure.
Previously, TXFNE teams relied on a cumbersome collection process that involved a camera and tripod system that required longer periods of time for each exam. Forensic nurses, working under pressure of both time and the need for accuracy, needed to manipulate the camera’s focus, flash, shutter speed, lens aperture opening and lighting mechanisms to secure accurate imaging. In addition, latex gloves needed to be changed after each swab, and following each contact with the patient. It was an arduous, lengthy and less-than-ideal process for conducting critically sensitive work.
TXFNE professionals sought to bring their examination process to a higher level and raise the standard of care they provide to traumatized patients, while adopting a comprehensive method of securing and storing forensic imaging and clinical evidence — all with minimal impact on victims.
THE LUTECH SOLUTION
At Lutech, we are deeply cognizant of the need for examining professionals to treat patients with the utmost care and sensitivity, while minimizing the trauma to abuse victims. Health care and forensic evidence professionals around the world rely on our colposcopes to gather the critical imaging and forensic data they need for medical and legal purposes. The professionals at TXFNE are providing an invaluable service to children and adults who are victims of wrongdoing. As such, TXFNE turned to Lutech, the preeminent designer and manufacturer of colposcopes. The organization integrated the non-invasive LT-300 Colposcope as a vital tool in expediting patient forensic examinations. The devices are currently being used at several of TXFNE’s locations.
“The Lutech colposcopes have really changed things,” explains Brookley Torres, BSN, RN, a forensic nurse with TXFNE. “With their colposcopes, you do not need to readjust the focus or lighting; you zoom in and capture the image with the foot pedal,” eliminating the need to change gloves multiple dimes during the examination. “Imagine how horrible that process was for patients — examiners changing gloves after every swab and every picture.” The LT-300 does away with all that. “The autofocus also helps here,” Ms. Torres pointed out, “because examiners do not need to keep making adjustments after each photo.”
Lutech colposcopes make the examiners’ work easier on multiple levels. “Because nurses are not specialized in photography,” Ms. Torres continues, “the Lutech colposcope is crucial in raising the standard of care we provide for our patients, it provides the ability to offer a less invasive and more comfortable exam to our patients.” The stability of the LT-300 is also a huge step forward for the forensic examiners at TXFNE. “The old system lacked stability,” Ms. Torres notes. Lutech colposcopes are highly stable, which is essential in deriving the highest-quality imaging possible. This is especially important when examining children. “They move a lot, and they can squirm,” she says. “That makes it hard to capture images with a traditional (tripod-mounted) camera. It’s hard to focus, and they can kick it over, the images are often blurry.” The result was often substandard image quality, and longer, more difficult exams.
“The Lutech colposcope has changed things considerably,” Ms. Torres says. There is no cumbersome setup, no unsteady tripod, the device is easily wheeled into and out of the exam room, it’s easy to use, the quality of the images is unparalleled, and storage of data is effortless.
The difference between the previous method of conducting forensic exams and securing critical data at TXFNE, and the implementation of sophisticated, state-of-the-art Lutech colposcope technology, is like night and day.
“We aren’t going to provide mediocre care.” Ms. Torres stated. “We raised the standard. We are determined to provide the best care for our patients.” The integration of the Lutech LT-300 colposcopes has elevated the level of care at TXFNE exponentially. “It raises the standard for imaging during the exam and allows us to provide a better experience for our patients.”
Previously TXFNE forensic nurses had to adjust the lighting for every image they took. They found exam room lighting tends to work against the process and the addition of flash units and many adjustments for the right shutter speed and F-Stop, or size of the aperture opening over complicated the process. Patients also had to assume different positions in order to secure viable, accurate photographic evidence. This became problematic for nurses not skilled in professional photography, and for patients who have already endured a traumatic experience. The Lutech LT-300 colposcope eliminates those hurdles, providing ample lighting and the ability to autofocus to collect images quickly and accurately.
In addition, with the Lutech LT-300 colposcope, when forensic exams are completed, images and data are uploaded to a charting system and saved into a single folder for immediate storage and rapid retrieval. It’s fast, efficient, and vastly technologically superior to the antiquated system of SLR cameras, tripods and flash units.
In short, when Dr. Breeden and her colleagues at TXFNE needed to move the organization to a higher level of accuracy and sophistication in conducting forensic examinations, they needed an advanced system that allowed them to collect the important data they needed for medical and legal purposes. They also looked for a trusted partner in providing exceptional quality and accuracy in delivering state-of-the-art results in a sensitive and emotionally charged setting. Lutech met every expectation, and continues to do so for the professionals at TXFNE, and for their traumatized patients.
Contact Lutech today or call 631-676-7432 to learn more about the LT-300 series colposcopes.