UC-Davis To Add Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity Data to EHRs
On Thursday, the UC-Davis Health System announced that it will become the first academic health system in the U.S. to include information on sexual orientation and gender identity as standard demographic elements in patients' electronic health records, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The health system's move comes after the Institute of Medicine in 2011 reported a shortage of research data about the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.
Patients will be able to voluntarily add sexual orientation and gender identity information to their EHRs by:
- Logging onto UC-Davis' MyChart online communications system; or
- Providing the information in person, such as during a clinic appointment.
UC-Davis also will compile a database of health care providers that self-identify as "LGBT-welcoming." The database is expected to be available online this summer.
Edward Callahan -- coordinator of the UC-Davis initiative and a professor of family and community medicine -- said, "LGBT individuals face significant health challenges that can be better addressed when a doctor's office is seen as a truly welcoming and understanding environment."
He added, "We're inviting patients to voluntarily share their gender identity and sexual orientation information to help us create an atmosphere in which we're able to provide the most knowledgeable and informed care possible."
Shara Perkins Murphy -- executive director of the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center -- said the group has been discussing the effort with the health system for more than a year and is "incredibly happy that UC-Davis has taken this step" (Glover, Sacramento Bee, 6/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.