More inclusive health care: IT assists in providing appropriate care for LGBT+ patients

Nonbinary identity can now be entered into EMR

UC Davis Health is known for innovation and providing excellent patient care to all populations. Our core values recognize the diversity that exists in society, and the importance of treating patients with the dignity, respect and care they deserve.

UC Davis Health pioneered capturing Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) in the EMR in 2012. And recently, spurred by new California legislation, UC Davis Health Information Technology (IT) implemented changes within Epic to make nonbinary a recognized legal sex.

Learn more
To learn more about providing quality care for nonbinary and other sexual gender minority patients, sign up to attend the 2019 Improving OUTcomes Conference for LGBTQ+ Health, Oct. 18 and 19, at the Education Building.

Free for all UC Davis Health staff (not claiming Continuing Medical Education credits).

California Senate Bill 179, also known as the Gender Recognition Act, required the Department of Motor Vehicles to accommodate a person’s chosen legal sex – female, male, or nonbinary – on driver’s licenses. Nonbinary is an umbrella term for people with gender identities falling somewhere outside of the traditional conceptions of female or male.

Based on a patient’s new ID card, UC Davis Health staff now can enter nonbinary into the EMR. Extensive configuration and testing were done to ensure systems that take data from Epic (labs, insurance, etc.) would continue to work correctly. The addition of the nonbinary legal sex value in the EMR does not impact the established processes surrounding the SOGI Questionnaire that are used in clinics and patients’ entry of information via MyUCDavisHealth.

For patients who identify as nonbinary, “sex assigned at birth” is recorded to help interpret laboratory tests. These data fields also play a role in recommending routine health appointments such as pap smears, prostate exams and other gender-specific testing.

A patient’s pronouns such as he/his, she/her, or they/them also appear for all users. Together, these changes improve the quality of care, increase patient satisfaction and raise institutional awareness for gender and sexual minorities.

Asking patients about their preferences in relation to identification of sexual orientation and gender identity upholds the UC Davis Mission, Vision, and Values, which include serving the needs of our local and global community, providing the highest-quality health care to patients and their families, respecting each individual and embracing change so we can be successful in our work and life as a whole entity. In addition to supporting direct patient care, these data can help us identify and improve the many health disparities that LGBT+ patients may experience.