UnityPoint Health – Des Moines announced their “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader” designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). The designation was awarded in the 12th edition of HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) released today. A record 680 health care facilities actively participated in the HEI 2019 survey, with HRC Foundation proactively researching key policies at 1,000 additional non-participating hospitals. Of those included in the HEI, 406 earned a “LGBTQ health care Equality Leader” designation.
“UnityPoint Health - Des Moines strives to provide a welcoming experience for team members and patients alike,” said Joyce McDanel, vice president of human resources and education at UnityPoint Health – Des Moines. “We believe our LGBTQ Clinic provides health care opportunities that are crucial in the growth of central Iowa and this honor will help us continue to deliver an inclusive health care environment for our patients, providers and team members.”
The 12th edition of the HEI assesses participants on four criteria: Non-Discrimination and Staff Training, Patient Services and Support, Employee Benefits and Policies, and Patient and Community Engagement.
In the 2019 report, an impressive 406 facilities earned HRC’s “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader” designation, receiving the maximum score in each section and earning an overall score of 100. Another 148 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation for scoring from 80 to 95 points. With 81 percent of participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, health care facilities are demonstrating concretely that they are going beyond the basics when it comes to adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care.
“The health care facilities that participate in HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index are making clear that they stand on the side of fairness and are committed to providing inclusive care to their LGBTQ patients. Going beyond inclusive non-discrimination policies, these health care facilities are adopting best practices in the areas of LGBTQ patient care and support, employee policies and benefits, and LGBTQ patient and community engagement.” says HRC President Alphonso David.
The remarkable progress reflected in the 2019 HEI includes:
- Over half of HEI participants now have written gender transition guidelines;
- 75% of hospitals surveyed offer trans-inclusive benefits -- an impressive eight percentage point increase over last year, and numbers that bring them on par with their corporate counterparts, as measured by HRC’s 2019 CEI;
- A 35% increase in training hours recorded -- clocking in at more than 94,000 hours of LGBTQ care training provided;
- A 60% increase in the number of HEI participants whose electronic health records capture a patient's sexual orientation, and a 40% increase in the number of HEI participants whose electronic health records capture a patient's gender identity.