Cleveland Clinic adds LGBT section to EHR

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Cleveland Clinic rolled out an EHR section to more easily capture patients' gender identity, preferred name and sexual orientation data.

The sexual orientation and gender identity EHR section will encourage clinicians to ask critical questions, such as a patient's preferred name or pronoun, to improve care for LGBT patients.

The health system, which uses Epic, said a patient's preferred name will now be captured at check-in by font-line caregivers. This information will be displayed on patient headers within the EHR.

By adding information like preferred names, health system officials hope to decrease the stigmatization LGBT patients often face, which can result in increased risk for substandard, insensitive or abusive care.

"Clinician caregivers now have improved tools to provide culturally competent, respectful care to their patients and understand their health needs better," said Jim Hekman, MD, medical director of the Lakewood Family Health Center and staff in the Cleveland Clinic Centers for LGBT Care.

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