We were recently connected to LGBTQIA+ resources for healthcare providers by the Human Rights Campaign. We were familiar with some, but not all, of the lessons we learned. Here are some of our biggest take aways.
The LGBTQIA+ community consists of anyone who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, two-spirited, and more. We knew access to safe and equitable healthcare was limited for certain communities, but now we are learning of new barriers for the LGBTQIA+ community, and ways to avoid creating them at our practice. Here is what we have learned from the Human Rights Campaign.
The LGBTQIA+ community has had to learn how to look for signs of safety.
Especially in their healthcare, to determine what information they can safely and comfortably share. We understand this and aim to provide a safe space for our LGBTQIA+ patients.
The LGBTQIA+ community has been misunderstood and disregarded.
In our practice, we will trust you and the experiences you share with us. We believe that you are the expert of you. We have seen how a trusting clinician can help someone overcome addiction, and even save a life. This approach is how we handle all of our patients, especially our patients who identify as a part of the LGBTQIA+ community.
The LGBTQIA+ community uses language appropriately.
You can trust our staff to respectfully reflect your preferred identity and pronouns back to you.
The LGBTQIA+ community values confidentiality.
So do we. All of our staff work under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). HIPAA is a federal law protecting sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge. We will never share your information without first acquiring your knowledge and consent. Furthermore, we won’t even disclose that you are a patient at our practice without your knowledge and consent.
We cannot wait to learn more from the LGBTQIA+ community as we continue to provide inclusive and affirmative care to all.