Research shows that when LGBTQ+ patients have higher levels of trust in their health care providers, communication improves. The evidence-based result? Better health outcomes for patients who identify as lesbian, gay, transgender, queer and other sexual orientations and gender identities.
Caring for the LGBTQ+ community is a critical part of Novant Health’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity. That’s why Novant Health — recognized, along with 14 of its hospitals, as a “Leader in LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality,” by the Human Rights Campaign — is working to identify and eliminate health care disparities and improve cultural competence.
Here are three of the many steps Novant Health has taken to improve access to health care and meet the unique needs of this vulnerable community:
1. The Physician Finder allows patients to browse doctors and make appointments. With updated filters, including sexual orientation and transgender health care training, you can quickly and easily locate LGBTQ+ friendly providers with the knowledge and experience necessary to caring for this community. Simply type those letters into the search field.
“Being able to find a provider who is affirming and really understands you is important to your health,” said Gina Fambrough, senior director, health equity operations and performance. “Now, patients can be assured that they're seeing someone who they can really connect with.”
2. Transcultural health managers (THMs) help ensure an inclusive, welcoming environment for all patients by providing Novant Health team members with customized education and strategies related to gender identity, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, age and other dimensions of diversity.
This is especially helpful when it comes to serving vulnerable populations like the LGBTQ+ community. THMs support the clinical teams in setting them up for success in caring for this community and ensuring an inclusive environment, which creates a more remarkable patient experience and better outcomes for our LGBTQ+ patients.
3. Diversity, inclusion and equity training is offered to all Novant Health team members, and includes education on LGBTQ+ inclusive health care. This helps ensure all team members — including health care providers — possess cultural competence to care for and affirm this population. To date, approximately 95% of Novant’s workforce has completed the training.
“This is an internal education program, but it equips us to better serve LGBTQ+ community in every setting,” Fambrough said. “From using the correct terminology to adopting culturally appropriate behaviors, it helps us deliver a remarkable, inclusive patient experience.”
Looking for an LGBTQ+ friendly doctor? Your search starts here.