2012-02-16

Health Care Providers Are Encouraged to Ask Patients about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

The Fenway Institute has issued two Policy Focus briefs highlighting the importance of gathering sexual orientation and gender identity data in clinical settings and to provide guidance to clinicians to gather such data. Why gather data on sexual orientation and gender identity in clinical settings explains how gathering such data will help us understand lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) health disparities, and how it is consistent with key recommendations in Healthy People 2020, the 2011 Institute of Medicine report on LGBT health issues and research gaps, and the Affordable Care Act. Gathering such data in electronic health records (EHRs) is especially important.

How to gather data on sexual orientation and gender identity in clinical settings provides guidance on how to ask questions on patient registration form and how clinicians can ask questions during medical visits. This second brief addresses concerns about confidentiality with EHRs and other potential barriers to collecting data on LGBT identity.

PDFs of the briefs are available online: