For a third consecutive year, UC Davis Medical Center has been recognized as a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” in the Healthcare Equality Index, an annual survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organization.
The medical center earned top marks for its commitment to equitable, inclusive care for LGBT patients and their families, who can face significant challenges in securing adequate health care, as well as equal-employment opportunities that do not discriminate against anyone because of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Establishing and maintaining a welcoming and inclusive environment for our patients, their families and our employees has always been a top priority for us,” said Ann Madden Rice, chief executive officer for the medical center. “It is an honor to be recognized again for our commitment to health-care equality. It’s an indication of how determined we are as an organization to truly reflect the communities we serve.”
Facilities and institutions awarded the title must meet key criteria for patient-centered care, including non-discrimination policies for LGBT patients and employees, a guarantee of equal visitation for same-sex partners and parents, and training for staff in LGBT patient-centered care. UC Davis was one of 464 health-care facilities nationwide to be recognized this year as "Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality."
“LGBT patients deeply appreciate the welcoming environment provided by a 'Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality,'” said HRC Health and Aging Director Shane Snowdon. “It makes a big difference to know that your local health-care facility is fully committed to giving you the same care it gives your neighbors and co-workers.”
Last month, UC Davis Health System became the first academic health system in the country to begin incorporating sexual orientation and gender identity as standard demographic elements within its electronic health records. UC Davis patients are now invited to voluntarily share sexual orientation and gender identity information. Physicians and patient advocates said the new measure is an important step toward improving health care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals who often avoid medical clinics out of fear of being humiliated or rejected.
In addition to its new electronic health record information categories for LGBT patients, UC Davis is developing a physicians’ list of health providers who self identify, based on experience or comfort level, as “LGBT welcoming.” The new database will be available on the UC Davis Health System website later this summer.
For more information about the Healthcare Equality Index 2013 or to download a free copy of the report, visit www.hrc.org/hei.