How The Graves County Needle Exchange WOrks
Process/Procedures of the Harm Reduction Syringe Exchange Program
Intake and Initial visit: Participants will be registered via NEO 360 Syringe Exchange Software. NEO 360 Syringe Exchange Software will be used for all participant visits, data collection and review, inventory calculation and reporting. HIPAA guidelines will be followed at all times.
The need for anonymity allows for a non-threatening environment and the opportunity for staff/client rapport to be established.
The client is asked to provide a unique identifier using two or three initials of their name and date of birth. The Exchange distributes to the participant a wallet card listing their number. The unique identifier is used to sign in at all subsequent visits and document number of needles, syringes and containers returned; educational information provided and referrals of participants for additional services.
Initial enrollment includes the collection of demographic data (self- identified gender accepted), housing status, employment status, health and substance of choice data per participant. Clients will receive a copy of “Participant Rights and Responsibilities.”
Sharing of needles and syringes between intravenous drug users is a common practice. In order to decrease the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C, the ultimate goal of a needle/syringe exchange is to assure single use of injection devices by all intravenous drug users.
Due to the sharing of intravenous injection devices, it is felt that many participants may not have needles/syringes to exchange or have the appropriate number used during a week. The Exchange program will initially allow staff to dispense up to 40 syringes per week for the first two (2) visits by the participant. Beginning the 3rd week of participation, the exchange will be one for one only.
Participants must return with contaminated needles/syringes to be placed in an appropriate biohazard, sharps disposal container. HRSEP staff will not touch or handle contaminated syringes or paraphernalia. If a contaminated syringe or paraphernalia misses the container during disposal by the participant, the participant will be asked to pick up the items and dispose of it in the appropriate container. If a staff member should find over-looked contaminated items, forceps will be used to place the items in the biohazard sharps container. Forceps will be sterilized between uses.
HIV and Hepatitis C screening will be offered to all participants at initial visit. Testing will be offered anytime and strongly recommended yearly. Testing will be available through The Exchange site.
The client is to remove the container cap and staff view the number of syringes in the container. Clients recap the container and deposits in the larger biohazard container. Clients receive one-for-one syringe exchange up to a maximum of 40 syringes per visit.
Established Participants: Established participants will present their unique identifier card to The Exchange staff upon arrival. The Exchange staff will login to the participant database using the unique identifier number. The participant will open the sharps container to allow The Exchange staff to visualize the number of intravenous injection devices for disposal and to be documented in the participant’s electronic file. The participant will be asked at each visit to provide any changes to their information in order to maintain current information in the data base.
The Exchange staff will initiate services as listed under subcategories “Services Provided, Process/Procedures, and Referral.” Any updates to the participant’s information will be completed at this time.
HIV and Hepatitis C screening will be offered to all participants. Testing will be available through the Syringe Exchange site.