Hospitals affiliated with Atlanta’s Emory University rated highly in a new survey of LGBT related-policies. The five Emory facilities were the only Georgia hospitals to voluntarily submit information for the Healthcare Equality Index.

The HEI, a project of the national Human Rights Campaign, rates hospitals and other healthcare facilities on seven criteria. The Emory Healthcare facilities offered positive answers to six of the seven questions, answering “no” only to whether LGBT cultural competency training is provided to all staff.

The participating Emory hospitals were Emory University Hospital – Clifton Road Campus, Emory Hospital Midtown Campus, the Emory Clinic, Wesley Woods and the Emory Orthopedic & Spine Hospital.

The facilities answered “yes” to these six criteria:

• Patients’ Bill of Rights and/or non-discrimination policy includes “sexual orientation”

• Patients’ Bill of Rights and/or non-discrimination policy includes “gender identity or expression” or “gender identity”

• Visitation policies have explicitly LGBT-inclusive language granting same-sex couples the same access as different-sex couples and next of kin

• Visitation policies have explicitly LGBT-inclusive language granting same-sex parents the same visitation access as different-sex parents for their minor children

• Equal employment opportunity policy includes “sexual orientation”

• Equal employment opportunity policy includes “gender identity”

Emory’s hospitals did not qualify for HRC’s “HEI Leader” status, an achievement made by only 27 respondents, but the survey results put them ahead of many healthcare facilities in the nation.

According to HRC, “nationally, the Healthcare Equality Index 2011 found that nearly 90 percent of participating healthcare facilities include sexual orientation in their Patient’s Bill of Rights and/or non-discrimination policy, but only 60 percent include gender identity in these policies.  Additionally, only 49 percent of participating facilities have an explicitly inclusive visitation policy granting equal access for same-sex couples and 52 percent have such a policy inclusive of same-sex parents.”

“The first step in creating a healthcare environment free of bias and discrimination is taking an internal look at the policies and practices that directly affect LGBT patients,” HRC President Joe Solmonese said in a press release. “We thank these healthcare facilities for participating in the Healthcare Equality Index.”

Last year, two Atlanta healthcare facilities participated. At the time, Emory Hospital reported only including sexual orientation in its Equal Employment Opportunity statement.

Piedmont Hospital, which did not participate this year according to HRC, reported in 2010 that it has a gay-inclusive Equal Employment policy, as well as visitation policies that give same-sex couples the same access as opposite-sex couples and next of kin, visitation polices that give same-sex partners the same visitation for their minor children as opposite-sex partners, and cultural competency training that includes healthcare issues that impact LGBT people.

You can read the full 2011 Healthcare Equallity Index here.

You can read our report on the 2010 HEI here.

 

 

 

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