Post submitted by Eva Kendrick, HRC Alabama State Manager
Last week, HRC and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Hospital hosted two Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) Lunch and Learns for Central and North Alabama healthcare administrators to discuss the 2017 HEI and HRC-encouraged best practices for LGBTQ patient-centered care in Alabama.
Over 40 representatives from more than 10 area inpatient and outpatient healthcare organizations gathered in Birmingham and Huntsville. They met to learn more about implementing LGBTQ patient-centered best practices through guidance from Tari Hanneman, Director of HRC’s Health Equality Project, and through case studies offered from local healthcare administrators whose hospitals have participated in previous HEI surveys.
HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index - an annual survey implemented by the HRC Foundation - is used by inpatient and outpatient healthcare organizations nationwide to strengthen the care they offer LGBTQ patients, as well as the support and protections offered to LGBTQ healthcare staff. Healthcare facilities participating in the 2017 HEI survey will be scored in four key areas of LGBTQ inclusion: Non-Discrimination and Staff Training, Patient Services and Support, Patient and Community Engagement and Employee Benefits and Policies. Facilities that score high by having a number of policies and best practices in place will be recognized as top performers and those that score 100 in the survey will receive the designation of Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.
Current Alabama healthcare organizations that have achieved the status of “Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” include the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, Cooper Green Mercy Health Services, Medical West Health Centers, and the VA Medical Centers in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Montgomery.
It is our hope that these HEI Lunch and Learns will further the number of new healthcare organizations participating in the HEI, as access to fully-inclusive and competent healthcare is a critical need for Alabama’s LGBTQ community.
Click here for more information on how several Alabama healthcare organizations were rated in the 2016 HEI.