St. Paul, MN (KROC AM News) - Minnesota’s law enforcement community is teaming up with healthcare providers across the state to create a roadmap for improving the collaboration and communication when caring for people who need health care will be involved with law enforcement.

Back in August of 2016, the Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota Hospital Association and Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association created the Health Care and Law Enforcement Coalition to help improve communication and better protect the patients, law enforcement and healthcare staff.

“Protecting the health and safety of Minnesotans is a core component of the Department of Health’s mission,” said Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. “We applaud this coalition for its dedication and excellent work designing strategies for improved communication and enhanced patient and staff protections.”

The coalition has released a new roadmap for caring for patients that are involved with law enforcement. The map includes a collection of best practices and tools for health care and law enforcement members that include policies, procedures, court orders and other resources to better protect everyone involved.

The roadmap clarifies all roles and responsibilities in situations such as when an incarcerated person is brought to a hospital by law enforcement for evaluation or treatment, health care staff call law enforcement for assistance and other instances.

“The sheriff’s association is proud to be a member of the coalition. We recognize that we must work together to assure the safety of the patient, hospital staff, the community and the great men and women who work in law enforcement,” said Bill Hutton, executive director of the Minnesota Sheriffs' Association.

The coalition also created a system where healthcare staff and law enforcement parents can meet regularly and develop working relationships and communication plans for urgent situations.

“Through this coalition, we have all developed a better understanding of and response to situations when health care and law enforcement come together,” said Dr. Rahul Koranne, the Minnesota Hospital Association’s chief medical officer. “Hospitals are places of healing, but they can also be places of great stress. By anticipating and preparing, we can ensure that the interactions of health care and law enforcement organizations are aligned in service of our patients, health care providers and law enforcement personnel.”

You can find out more about the coalition here.

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