To Advance Health Equity for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community
By Amy Wilson-Stronks, M.P.P.
Independent Advocate, Consultant and Researcher
Creating a welcoming environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans- gender (LGBT) patients and families is an investment with a valuable return. Today, hospitals and healthcare organizations are challenged to provide high-quality, safe healthcare while juggling competing priorities and maintaining a positive operating margin. Cost, time and return on investment all factor when deciding which initiatives to advance. Here are some factors to consider related to LGBT health equity initiatives:
Promoting Quality Care
Patient-provider communication has been linked to measures of quality, such as patient adher- ence and satisfaction,ii and patient-centered care has been shown to increase both satisfaction and quality of care.iii Real or perceived discrimination and disrespect alienates LGBT patients from the healthcare system, thus contributing to LGBT healthcare disparities.iv Comprehensive policies in support of systems of effective patient-provider communication and patient-centered care can improve the healthcare environment and, in turn, have a positive impact on patient satisfaction and reportable measures of quality.