Policy Briefs on why and how to gather LGBT data in clinical settings

This month, The Fenway Institute issues two Policy Focus briefs to highlight the importance of gathering sexual orientation and gender identity data in clinical settings. Why gather data on sexual orientation and gender identity in clinical settings (PDF) explains how gathering such data will help us understand LGBT health disparities, and how it is consistent with key recommendations in Healthy People 2020, the 2011 Institute of Medicine report on LGBT health issues and research gaps, and the Affordable Care Act. Gathering such data in electronic health records (EHRs) is especially important.

How to gather data on sexual orientation and gender identity in clinical settings (PDF) provides guidance on how to ask questions on patient registration forms and how clinicians can ask questions during medical visits. This second brief addresses concerns about confidentiality with EHRs and other potential barriers to collecting data on LGBT identity.

The briefs were authored by Sean Cahill, Director of Health Policy Research, along with Judith Bradford, Co-chair and Director of the Center for Population Research in LGBT Health; Chris Grasso, Data Manager; and Harvey Makadon, Director of the National LGBT Health Education Center. They will be disseminated to health education professionals, professional associations, policy makers and other priority audiences.