Standardized data collection and training to help reduce health disparities for LGBTQ patients

Study in October 2020 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety Thursday, September 24 2020

Media Contact: 
Katie Bronk 
Corporate Communications  
(630) 792-5175 

 
View the multimedia news release 
 
(OAKBROOK TERRACE, Illinois, September 24, 2020) – Sexual and gender minority individuals experience disparate access to and outcomes within health care, including higher all-cause mortality. Although these disparities are multifactorial, one element is the “invisibility” of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals within health care systems driven by lack of systemic collection of sexual orientation and gender identity (SO/GI) data.1  

A new study in the October issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, “Systematic Collection of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in a Public Health System: The San Francisco Health Network SO/GI Systems-Change Initiative,” describes how the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) standardized data collection for every patient/client, as well as provided staff education and training on LGBTQ health. 

The initiative incorporated community engagement and aimed to:

  • Meet new regulatory requirements
  • Improve the patient/client experience
  • Equip staff with the needed data to uncover and reduce health disparities

Upon completion of a first wave of education in May 2019, 69.1% of staff completed the online training and 26.7% of staff completed the optional in-person training. As of June 2020, SO/GI was collected by paper form for 35% of primary care patients and in 26.8% of unique patient encounters overall throughout the health network. 
 
The initiative demonstrated the feasibility of implementing SO/GI data collection as an inclusive and community-driven culture change initiative. Next steps include providing ongoing training and support for clinicians, staff and patients, as well as implementing SO/GI data collection for pediatric patients/clients and identifying health disparities to create targeted interventions to improve the care experience for LGBTQ patients/clients. 

An accompanying editorial by Madeline B. Deutsch, MD, MPH, associate professor of Clinical Family & Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, noted: “Quality improvement and population health efforts require SO/GI data to allow the creation of sexual and gender minority subpopulations with varying levels of granularity, which can then be compared to one another or to cisgender groups to identify programmatic and operational efforts to address disparities.”

Also featured in the October issue:

For more information, visit The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety website.   

1Institute of Medicine. The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, 421 and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding, Washington, DC: National Academies 423 Press, 2011.

### 

Note for editors 
The article is “Systematic Collection of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in a Public Health System: The San Francisco Health Network SO/GI Systems-Change Initiative” by Nicole Rosendale, MD; Amie Fishman, MPH; Seth Goldman, MD; Seth Pardo, PhD; Ashley Scarborough, MPH; and Ayanna Bennett, MD. The article appears in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, volume 46, number 10 (October 2020), published by Elsevier. 
 
The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety 
The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety (JQPS) is a peer-reviewed journal providing health care professionals with innovative thinking, strategies and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. JQPS is the official journal of The Joint Commission and Joint Commission Resources, Inc. Original case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or the new application of methodologies, research studies, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

Tags:

Accreditation:

  • Ambulatory Health Care
  • Behavioral Health Care
  • Critical Access Hospital
  • Hospital
  • Office-Based Surgery