Hospital Equality Index

13 05 2009

The HRC has put out another study (I’ve said it before — they are really good at doing reports and studies). This time, it’s an evaluation of 166 medical facilities around the country. Unfortunately, not a single Cincinnati hospital participated, nor did any Columbus hospital; we have primarily Cleveland medical facilities. No facilities participated in either Kentucky or Indiana.

The hospitals were scored on the following characteristics:

1a Patients’ Bill of Rights and/or non-discrimination policy includes “sexual orientation”

1b Patients’ Bill of Rights and/or non-discrimination policy includes “gender identity or expression” or “gender identity”

2a Visitation policies allow same-sex partners/spouses the same visitation access as opposite-sex spouses and next of kin

2b Visitation policies allow same-sex parents the same visitation access as opposite-sex parents for their minor children

3a Recognize advance healthcare directives allowing same-sex partners/spouses decision-making authority for their partner/spouse under care

4a Provide cultural competency training addressing sexual orientation and healthcare issues relevant to lesbian, gay and bisexual community

4b Provide cultural competency training addressing gender identity and healthcare issues relevant to transgender community

5a Equal employment opportunity policy includes “sexual orientation”

5b Equal employment opportunity policy includes “gender identity or expression” or
“gender identity”

5c Domestic partner health insurance benefits are offered

As you can see if you embiggen the picture above, which is a cutout of just the Ohio hospitals, that they didn’t do too poorly. The points missing universally are cultural competency trainings and gender identity/expression in Patient Bills of Rights.

I think those are totally “doable” goals.

But, again, the index itself may be inappropriately scored. As JereKeys brought up with the HRC Corporate Index, it does nothing to gauge actual environment. For example, University Hospital here in town generally has a negative perception in the LGBT community’s head, but is probably the most open and accepting environments out of all the major hospitals (at least, from my experience; though I hear Children’s is like a big gay heaven :-)).

At least it’s a good jumping off point to start the conversation, though, yes?

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