The Human Rights Campaign Foundation Healthcare Equality Index recently named Keck Medicine of USC as a “Top Performer in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.” The index recognizes health care organizations that provide equitable and inclusive care of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) patients, visitors and employees.
The Healthcare Equality Index is intended as a tool to give health care facilities the information and resources needed to ensure that LGBTQ people have access to nondiscriminatory patient-centered care. The report is used to applaud facilities that have shown their commitment to LGBTQ patient-centered care, with scores based on the services and programs offered to the LGBTQ community. The “Top Performer” designation is given to facilities that score between 80 to 95 points on the survey. Keck Hospital of USC, USC Norris Cancer Hospital and USC Verdugo Hills Hospital all received the designation.
“Keck Medicine of USC has a great opportunity to position itself to be a leader in health care for LGBTQ patients,” said Felipe Osorno, executive administrator of Value Improvement at Keck Medicine of USC. “It’s a priority for our health system to provide an environment of respect where everyone feels welcomed. We want to equip our staff with the skills and knowledge to provide exceptional care to our LGBTQ patients, and provide an inclusive environment for our LGBTQ employees.”
Keck Medicine has worked to update its nondiscrimination, visitation and hiring policies, and patient handbook, and offered online LGBTQ training modules for employees. The medical center also has created Keck PRIDE, a task force that designs and implements strategies to foster a welcoming environment for patients and families and create a space for LGBTQ employees to discuss and advance key issues.
Lindsey Lawrence, a performance improvement analyst at Keck Medicine, said the organization is looking into additional educational and outreach opportunities to provide even better patient-centered care to LGBTQ patients and their families.
“We are really looking top to bottom at what we’re doing now and what more we can do,” she said. “We’re creating an atmosphere where our LGBTQ patients and their families can comfortably share who they are with their providers and where our LGBTQ staff feel valued.”
The 2017 Healthcare Equality Index report can be viewed at http://www.hrc.org/hei/about-the-hei.
— Alexis Young