Do Ask, Do Tell
A Toolkit for Collecting Data on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Clinical Settings
Welcome to Do Ask, Do Tell: A Toolkit for Collecting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Information in Clinical Settings. This toolkit will help you better understand the health issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and how the routine collection of structured data on sexual orientation and gender identity (SO/GI) in clinical settings can help improve care provision and outcomes for this underserved population.
This toolkit provides specific sexual orientation and gender identity questions that are recommended by national LGBT organizations and which have been shown to work with diverse patient populations served by community health centers in different parts of the United States. It also describes how to collect these data in electronic health records (EHR) systems, how to use these data to support clinical processes, and how to train clinical staff to interact with LGBT patients in ways that are affirming and welcoming. Finally, the toolkit highlights other resources that health care providers can use to offer culturally and clinically competent care that reflects their LGBT patients’ unique needs.
This online toolkit on sexual orientation and gender identity data collection in clinical settings and electronic health records is a collaboration between The Fenway Institute and the Center for American Progress. The toolkit has been made possible by generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
In developing this toolkit, The Fenway Institute and the Center for American Progress are indebted to the model for collecting data on race, ethnicity, and primary language laid out by the American Hospital Association, the American College of Healthcare Executives, and their partners in the Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities initiative (1) and in the HRET Disparities Toolkit.(2)
Do Ask, Do Tell: A Toolkit for Collecting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Information in Clinical Settings was created by Sean Cahill, PhD, Director of Health Policy Research at The Fenway Institute; Kellan Baker, MPH, MA, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress; and Harvey Makadon, MD, Director of Education and Training at The Fenway Institute and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
The Fenway Institute and the Center for American Progress have been at the forefront of efforts to address LGBT health disparities by promoting the routine and standardized collection of SO/GI data in clinical settings, particularly in EHRs. The primary vehicle for this effort has been the Incentive Program for the Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records (commonly known as “Meaningful Use”) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is actively addressing SO/GI data collection in the process of setting EHR certification requirements under Meaningful Use. Click here to learn more about our comments on the Meaningful Use program.
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