Electronic health records as an equity tool for LGBTQIA+ people

Nature
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Electronic health records as an equity tool for LGBTQIA+ people

Is your data queer enough?

In this Nature article, you'll learn about:

  • Best data collection methods

" Data collection for entry into EHRs may occur via paper forms, electronic tablets or telehealth modalities, and correct names and pronouns can be linked to laboratory testing and electronic medication prescribing orders7, as for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) or gender-affirming hormone therapy. Organizations with more limited internal information technology design capabilities can inquire whether their EHR vendor has pre-existing sexual orientation and gender identity customization options to suit their unique workflows. "

  • How the right data collection improves health equity outcomes

" Emerging opportunities for culturally responsive data collection hold promise for further advancing LGBTQIA+ health equity (Table 1), for example by improving understanding of and reducing disparities related to SARS-CoV-2 in testing, infection, outcomes and vaccination among sexual and gender minority populations experiencing adverse social determinants of health14. "

  • What policy changes are needed

" This finding suggests that federal nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQIA+ people, such as the Equality Act passed by the US House of Representatives in February 2021 and under consideration in the Senate at the time of writing, could help achieve more uniform patient data completeness across the country, as well as the identification of additional disparities for local, state and national public health intervention. "

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