AHIMA Issues Guidelines to Enhance HIM Practices for LGBT Populations | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

AHIMA Issues Guidelines to Enhance HIM Practices for LGBT Populations

March 19, 2017
by Heather Landi
| Reprints

The Chicago-based American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) has issued a practice brief that offers guidelines and recommendations for healthcare professionals and health information management (HIM) professionals to implement inclusive HIM practices for the LGBT community, as well as individuals on a spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities. 

The practice brief, titled “Improved Patient Engagement for LGBT Populations,” aims to help enhance patient engagement for LGBT populations.

“When a healthcare environment is accessible, sensitive and respectful, patients are more likely to share details of their personal health information that are needed to provide the best patient care and safety,” AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, said in a statement. “As healthcare populations become more diverse, a focus on inclusiveness for all patient populations will promote patient engagement and help to reduce health disparities. In turn, this will help ensure health information can be found where and when it is needed.” 

According to the practice brief, LGBT patients often identify partner/spouse rights as a primary concern. AHIMA suggests that in addition to making sure both partners sign their provider’s HIPAA-approved form, it is recommended that they exchange access information on their respective patient portals. 

The traditional birth certificate can also pose a problem. As an example, California has revised its birth certificate legislation to be more inclusive of LGBT parents; parents can now be listed as two mothers or two fathers and the gender-neutral term parent is available along with the option to check mother or father. 

The patient portal is a powerful tool for all patients to become more engaged in their own healthcare. AHIMA recommends that specific aspects which can be established to support LGBT patients.

Allow patients to submit data securely though the web or a mobile app to alleviate potential concerns a patient may have about identifying personal and private information at registration

Make sure content is inclusive. The patient should be able to list preferred name and gender, along with legal name and gender. This also impacts how procedures and medications are listed in the portal. For example, a listing of the hormones a patient undergoing gender reassignment surgery is taking should be available for the patient to view in the portal

Offer reference ranges for lab results that can be adapted and modified according to a person’s gender. For example, a person undergoing female-to-male reassignment may have a different “normal” range than someone born male

Display a clear notice about nondiscrimination and consider complementing pictures of traditional families with nontraditional families

The practice brief noted that the electronic health record (EHR) can include new fields to capture specific information such as “Gender Identity,” “Sexual Orientation,” “Sex Assigned at Birth,” and “Organ Inventory.” 

According to the practice brief, “gathering this data will enable healthcare providers to treat transgender patients with appropriate care across the continuum, from being addressed properly on a phone call to getting the appropriate wellness reminders assessed on their organ inventory, not just their gender.” These EHR additions can help limit the creation of duplicate or misleading health records. 

The AHIMA practice brief also recommends that all staff members who interact with patients should receive diversity education that includes LGBT health and the multifaceted concepts related to sexual orientation and gender identity. 

“The more healthcare professionals understand diverse populations, the better patient-centered support we can provide,” Thomas Gordon said.

 

 

Topics

News

CMS Exploring Potential Behavioral Health Payment and Care Delivery Model

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) plans to hold a one-day summit in September to solicit feedback and ideas for a potential behavioral health model to improve access, quality and cost of care for beneficiaries with behavioral health conditions.

MEDITECH to Soon Offer CommonWell Health Alliance Services to Customers

MEDITECH, a Westwood, Mass.-based electronic health record (EHR) vendor, has announced that it is set to offer CommonWell interoperability services early next year.

HITRUST CSF Certification Now Includes NIST Cybersecurity Certification

HITRUST has announced that HITRUST cybersecurity framework (CSF) version 9 enhancements now extend an “assess once, report many” approach as a standard security framework for multiple critical infrastructure industries and includes National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity certification.

Premier: Analytics Helping Hospitals Optimize Blood Use

An analysis of 645 hospitals revealed that comparative data analytics to drive performance improvement has the potential to optimize blood use across numerous diagnoses.

Almost 80 Percent of Clinicians Still Use Hospital-Issued Pagers

A study examining the communication technologies used by hospital-based clinicians found that close to 80 percent (79.8 percent) of clinicians continue to use hospital-provided pagers and 49 percent of those clinicians report they receive patient care-related messages most commonly by pager.

Survey: IT Expenses per Physician Continue to Rise to Nearly $19,000

Information technology (IT) expenses for physician practices are on a slow and steady rise for most practices, and last year, physician-owned practices spent between nearly $2,000 to $4,000 more per FTE physician on IT operating expenses than they did the prior year, according to a recent Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) survey.