LGBT identity data in health records would improve care, reduce disparities

August 13, 2013
© Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Recording the sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) of individuals in their health records would greatly facilitate identifying the unique health needs and health disparities of LGBT individuals, leading to improved quality and outcomes of their health care. The advantages of reporting this information and the growing support for including it in electronic health records (EHRs) are described in an article in LGBT Health, a new peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers, launching in fall 2013.

Sean Cahill, PhD and Harvey J. Makadon, MD, The Fenway Institute (Boston, MA), emphasize the need for more data and research on LGBT health and health disparities, as noted in a 2011 Institute of Medicine report that recommended routine collection of SOGI information and its inclusion in EHRs. Ready access to this information could facilitate conversations between clinicians and patients about risk factors and targeted . Cahill teaches public policy at New York University (New York, NY) and Makadon is Clinical Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA).

In the article "Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Data Collection in Clinical Settings and in Electronic Health Records: A Key to Ending LGBT Health Disparities" the authors describe overwhelming support for routine collection of SOGI information among LGBT and HIV/AIDS organizations, as well as the support for SOGI data collection in the Healthy People 2020 initiative, and the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act.

"The Obama Administration has taken significant strides toward increasing LGBT data collection on health surveys," said Cahill. "Right now the federal government is considering whether to include SOGI as standard demographic questions in Stage 3 meaningful use guidelines, which set the standard for data collection in EHRs. We believe that including SOGI measures in these guidelines would dramatically increase our understanding of LGBT and our ability to address them."

"While there is no question about the benefits of collecting such data, some concern has been raised about the security of the EHR and potential misuses," says Editor-in-Chief, William Byne, MD, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. "In addition to addressing how to best elicit the data, Cahill and Makadon also address such implementation concerns."

Explore further: School bullying, violence against LGBT youth linked to risk of suicide, HIV infection

Related Stories

School bullying, violence against LGBT youth linked to risk of suicide, HIV infection

May 16, 2011
Critical new research has found that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth who experience high levels of school victimization in middle and high school report impaired health and mental health in young adulthood, ...

HIV treatment adherence and outcomes improving among HIV-positive transgender people

May 31, 2013
HIV-positive transgender people are just as likely to stay in care, take their medication and have similar outcomes as other men and women living with the disease, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine ...

New report highlights LGBT older adults' needs, identifies policy opportunities

November 16, 2011
The National Academy on an Aging Society and Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) today released the first-ever issue of the acclaimed Public Policy & Aging Report (PPAR) on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender ...

Recommended for you

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

High-dose vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles for children

July 18, 2017
Giving children high doses of vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles, a new study has found.

Scientists develop new supplement that can repair, rejuvenate muscles in older adults

July 18, 2017
Whey protein supplements aren't just for gym buffs according to new research from McMaster university. When taken on a regular basis, a combination of these and other ingredients in a ready-to-drink formula have been found ...

Study: Eating at 'wrong time' affects body weight, circadian rhythms

July 18, 2017
A new high-precision feeding system for lab mice reinforces the idea that the time of day food is eaten is more critical to weight loss than the amount of calories ingested.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.