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Patient Self-Identification Overview

This section is designed to familiarize your organization with best practices, from The Joint Commission and other sources, for providing patients the opportunity to be identified as LGBTQ in health records, if they so wish. Adding LGBTQ self-identification options to your electronic health record system is a significant step your facility can take to help end LGBTQ health disparities with LGBTQ self-identification options in your electronic health records.

To receive credit in the HEI:

This subsection of the Patient Services and Support Criteria includes 7 of the 22 scored best practices.

Scored best practices include:

Collecting information about sexual orientation and gender identity through the following:

  • Electronic health records that offer explicit options to capture patient’s current gender identity if it differs from the sex they were assigned at birth
  • A two-question process used to collect gender identity information identity (i.e. first asking current gender identity and then asking sex assigned at birth)
  • Training is provided to staff on how to collect and record gender identity data
  • Electronic health records that offer explicit options for capturing patient’s sexual orientation if they choose to volunteer that information
  • Employees that are provided training explicitly reminding them that LGBTQ status is confidential patient information

Providing LGBTQ family inclusive health records with:

  • Electronic health records that offer explicit options for recording parents that are inclusive of same-sex parents and other diverse families
  • Electronic health records that offer explicit options for recording relationship status with an unmarried partner

View Patient Self-Identification Resources