Healthcare Equality Index

Celebrating its 10th year, the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) is the national LGBTQ benchmarking tool that evaluates healthcare facilities' policies and practices related to the equity and inclusion of their LGBTQ patients, visitors and employees. The HEI 2017 evaluates a total of 1619 healthcare facilities nationwide.

Patient and Community Engagement

The Patient & Community Engagement criteria focuses on community outreach and promotion to let the LGBTQ community know you are a welcoming and affirming facility, working toward LGBTQ inclusion. Through review of the practices implemented by other organizations and recommended by experts, your organization can identify and address gaps in current policies and practices. In order to receive full credit (10 points) for this section, a facility must have implemented 4 or more of the best practices. A facility may receive partial credit (5 points) for this criteria if it has implemented 2 to 3 of the best practices. Scored best practices in LGBTQ community engagement and marketing include:

  • Supporting one or more LGBTQ related events or initiatives in the facility’s service area
  • Engaging in LGBTQ inclusive marketing or advertising to the LGBTQ community
  • Having an LGBTQ-specific logo
  • Organization has publicly supported LGBTQ equality under the law through local, state, or federal legislation or initiatives

Understanding the needs of LGBTQ patients and community by:

  • Maintaining patient surveys that allow patients the option to identify as LGBTQ
  • Ensuring patient surveys include LGBTQ related questions
  • Working with LGBTQ organizations or community members to assess LGBTQ needs or address LGBTQ-related concerns
  • Including external LGBTQ representation on a governing or community advisory board
  • Supporting LGBTQ health-related research

For more information and best practice examples, please visit the Patient & Community Engagement section in the HEI Resource Guide