Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital (BWFH) have both been recognized as Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the country's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization.
The findings were part of HRC Foundation's Healthcare Equality Index 2016, a unique annual survey that encourages equal care for LGBT Americans by evaluating inclusive policies and practices related to LGBT patients, visitors and employees.
Both hospitals earned top marks in meeting non-discrimination and training criteria that demonstrate its commitment to equitable, inclusive care for LGBT patients, and their families, who can face significant challenges in securing the quality health care and respect they deserve.
"We are thrilled to have participated in the HEI survey at Brigham and Women's and Faulkner Hospital and we vigorously embrace the commitment to inclusion and diversity in healthcare that it embodies. While we are proud of our HEI score, we are equally gratified that the process of self-assessment has stimulated significant new quality improvement activity to further bolster our care policies and practices for both LGBT patients and our LGBT staff," says Michael Gustafson, MD, MBA, President of BWFH.
The hospitals are part of a select group of 496 healthcare facilities nationwide to be named Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality. Facilities awarded this title meet key criteria, including patient and employee non-discrimination policies that specifically mention sexual orientation and gender identity, a guarantee of equal visitation for same-sex partners and parents, and LGBT health education for key staff members.
"Our ability to remain leaders from year to year is a testament to the tireless efforts and continuous quality improvement that takes place at Brigham and Women's HealthCare (BWHC)," says Harry Reyes Nieva, co-chair of the BWHC LGBT & Allies Employee Resource Group. "Hospital leadership has demonstrated great support and enthusiasm for initiatives spearheaded by the BWHC LGBT & Allies Employee Resource Group from inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity among patient demographics collected in the electronic health record to development of gender transition policies for hospital staff."
"Despite all the progress we've made, far too many LGBT people still lack inclusive and affirming healthcare. Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality are helping to change that, and, in the process, making the lives of LGBT patients and their families better each and every day," said Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign. "LGBT people have a right to be treated equally in all aspects of our lives, and HRC celebrates BWH and BWFH for their work to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all patients."
The Healthcare Equality Index offers healthcare facilities unique and powerful resources designed to help provide equal care to a long-overlooked group of patients, as well as assistance in complying with regulatory requirements and access to high-quality staff training.
For more information about the Healthcare Equality Index 2016, or to download a free copy of the report, visit www.hrc.org/hei.