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Nationwide Survey of the Healthcare Industry on LGBT Equality

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Original Date of Publication: 01 Nov 2006
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Home » LGBT Health News » Nationwide Survey of the Healthcare Industry on LGBT Equality

Nationwide Study Launched on Healthcare Equality for LGBT Community

Washington (Nov. 1, 2006) — The Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) is a joint project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. The HEI will provide a quality indicator for healthcare related to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people, beginning with the hospital industry. The HEI will identify existing policies that may be used as a guide to healthcare organizations with the hope that many more hospitals will adopt and promote policies of equality. The first HEI survey was launched in October 2006.

The goals of the Healthcare Equality Index project include:

  • Providing information to the public and our community about how the hospital industry and individual hospitals respond to the needs of GLBT individuals and their families;
  • Educating the GLBT community about their healthcare needs and rights;
  • Educating the public about challenges faced by GLBT people and their families in our nation's healthcare system;
  • Developing and promoting best practice models or "gold standard" policies for the healthcare industry; and
  • Positively affecting the behavior of the hospital industry toward the GLBT community.

Invitations to participate in the online HEI survey were sent to hospitals nationwide on October 30th. Each hospital has a unique survey page, user name and password. Hospital administrators may designate who will complete the survey. If you have personal contacts with or work for a hospital in the United States and would like to assist in making sure that a survey for the hospital is completed, please contact the Human Rights Commission via e-mail at

Surveys for the HEI were mailed to the largest 1,000 hospitals in the United States. A Council of Industry Advisors, comprised of representatives from professional associations, unions and healthcare facilities, and a Community Advisory Group, comprised of GLBT health advocates, leaders and experts, are guiding project design and implementation.

The survey includes questions that address patient and employee non-discrimination policies, visitation rights and medical decision making for same-sex couples and same-gender parents, and cultural competency and quality of care.

The first report is expected to be released in the Spring of 2007. For additional information on the Healthcare Equality Index, go to

LGBT Health News, Nationwide Survey of the Healthcare Industry on LGBT Equality reprinted with permission from
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