Patient-Centered SOGI Data Collection -Continuous Quality Improvement Recognition

Hospitals in Washington State are required by law (WAC 246-455-025) to collect patient self-reported sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) information and report this information in aggregate to the WA Department of Health for inclusion in the CHARS (Comprehensive Hospital Abstract Reporting System) database.

As the first state in the country to require hospital reporting of inpatient and observation SOGI data, WSHA convened a workgroup of hospital subject matter experts to design guidance for how to collect SOGI in a patient centered way that also supports frontline staff. Without intentional design centering on patient privacy and dignity, data collection efforts may have unintended consequences including outing, misgendering and pushback due to confusion or mistrust.

WSHA’s Recognition Program

The following five components in this Patient-Centered SOGI Data Collection Continuous Quality Improvement Recognition program are intended to guide hospital implementation efforts and acknowledge hospitals making continuous improvements. Most hospitals likely excel in some areas and may be actively working to achieve others. Recognition will be provided to any hospital that is making meaningful progress towards achieving a patient-centered SOGI collection in all five areas.

Domain 1: Staff Training on LGBTQ+ Health

Example: Hospital requires all staff to complete frequent training on LGBTQ+ health disparities, anti-harassment and non-discrimination policies and why collecting SOGI data is important.

Domain 2: Patient Privacy and Data Transparency

Example: Patient SOGI information is collected with privacy considerations, such as allowing patients to self-identify over the phone, via patient portal or in written form as opposed to being asked aloud in a waiting room.

Domain 3: Staff Supports and Monitoring

Example: Hospital workforce collecting SOGI data is provided scripting and opportunities to roleplay to build comfort and confidence interacting with patients on this topic.

Domain 4: LGBTQ+ Affirming Language and Communication

Example: In addition to collecting SOGI data, hospital staff collect and use patient pronouns and chosen name.

Domain 5: LGBTQ+ Welcoming Environment

Example: Hospital facilities provide ample access to all-gender restrooms.

Washington hospitals and health systems recognized by WSHA as Patient-Centered SOGI Data Collection leaders demonstrate commitment to ensuring a safe and positive experience for patients and staff when collecting data. Work is still underway to improve the data collection processes, build trust and improve the quality and accuracy of data. This recognition does not ensure patient access to comprehensive gender-affirming care. Rather, it is a testament to quality improvement efforts driven by patient experience and staff feedback.

Patients can find health systems providing excellent gender-affirming care by searching the Human Rights Campaign Healthcare Equality Index directory.

Application form and supporting toolkits will be launched this summer. Check back soon!

Contact if you are interested in applying.


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Washington State Hospital Association
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