UCSF Health has been named a 2017 "Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality," receiving a perfect score on the national Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), which was released today by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization.
The designation was reported in the 10th edition of the HEI, reflecting a decade of progress in LGBTQ health care. A record 590 health care facilities actively participated in the HEI 2017 survey, with 303 earning the "Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Quality" honor. The HRC Foundation also proactively researched key policies at more than 900 non-participating hospitals.
This version of the HEI implements new criteria that raise the bar for receiving the HRC's top designation. For the first time, participants are given scores in four criteria that represent how many policies and best practices from each section they have implemented: foundational elements of LGBTQ patient-centered care, LGBTQ patient services and support, employee benefits and policies, and LGBTQ patient and community engagement. Participants receiving the maximum score in each section for a total score of 100 points earn the status of "2017 Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality."
UCSF Health has met, and exceeded, all of these criteria since the HEI was created in 2007 by the HRC Foundation. It is among 33 health care facilities having participated in the HEI every year.
"Being part of the HEI for 10 years and receiving a perfect score this year underscores the importance that UCSF places on quality health care for LGBTQ patients, their families and our employees," said Mark R. Laret, chief executive officer and president of UCSF Health, which includes UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals, and other partner and affiliated hospitals and health care providers throughout the Bay Area. "We want each and every patient to feel safe and know that their health concerns are our priority."
UCSF's LGBTQ-inclusive policies, practices and training long predate the HEI. In 2004, UCSF Medical Center implemented a groundbreaking inclusive language policy that is featured in the prestigious Health Care Innovations Exchange of the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. UCSF Medical Center also has long provided equal visitation rights for patients' same-sex partners.
"It is a major honor for UCSF to be recognized for the 10th consecutive year for its commitment to advancing LGBTQ patient care, research and education," said Klint Jaramillo, director of the UCSF LGBT Resource Center. "Our colleagues across the medical center and campus community continue to be pioneering leaders in the field of LGBTQ health care, and we are hopeful that our collective efforts will continue to improve the health of our communities."
"While great progress has been made, there is always more work to be done," Jaramillo continued. "I am confident that our medical center will continue to strive to provide inclusive and affirming health care for our diverse patient population."
UCSF Medical Center consistently ranks as one of the top U.S. hospitals. Recognized for innovative treatments, advanced technology, collaboration among health care professionals and scientists, and a highly compassionate patient care team, UCSF Medical Center serves as the academic medical center of UC San Francisco. The medical center's nationally preeminent programs include children's health, the brain and nervous system, organ transplantation, women's health and cancer.
"The 2017 HEI reminds us again that though we have made tremendous gains over the past decade, there is still much more work left for us to do," said Chad Griffin, HRC president. "With some of our biggest battles still ahead of us, it is crucial that institutions continue to demonstrate that the march toward full equality is not slowing down. The 590 participants in this year's HEI continue this march in partnership with the LGBTQ community. For the past decade, the HEI has been the roadmap to closing the gap in ensuring equal care to LGBTQ patients and their families, and we urge every health care facility to join us in this continuing effort to provide inclusive care to all."
This article was originally written by Scott Maier and published by UCSF Medical Center.