Implementing sexual orientation and gender identity (SO/GI) questions and providing LGBTQ education to staff in a rural outpatient clinic
Fitzpatrick, Deni Mayliz
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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals are important members of every community. Collecting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SO/GI) information and providing staff with proper LGBTQ training is essential for acknowledging LGBTQ patients health disparities and providing proper health services to patients. The purpose of the project was to implement SO/GI questions into the clinics health survey form and provide evidence-based LGBTQ education to clinic staff members. SO/GI questions were implemented into the yearly reviewed health survey form in the outpatient clinic setting. During four-week cycle clinic patients were provided with the SO/GI questions on the patient intake form and were calculated as a percentage of the total patient intake forms completed. Overall the total completed SO/GI question percentage increased over the four week cycle. Patients were accepting of answering the SO/GI questions on the health survey forms. A LGBTQ educational session was provided to staff members on LGBTQ health and terminology and the importance of obtaining SO/GI questions from patients. Staff members clinical preparedness, attitudinal awareness, and knowledge were measured pre and post the LGBTQ educational session utilizing the LBGT-DOCSS tool. Overall, the total mean score, clinical preparedness, and knowledge scores increased after the LGBTQ educational session was provided. Attitudinal awareness did not change before or after the LGBTQ educational session. Limitations included a receptionist turnover, which required reteaching receptionists about the SO/GI collection process from clinic patients. COVID-19 protocols also required that the LGBTQ educational session to be provided virtually. Part of making the outpatient clinic more LGBTQ inclusive involved adding patient brochures, education materials, and adding a viewable nondiscrimination statement to the outpatient clinic setting.