SACRAMENTO, Calif. (March 28, 2022) – Greater Sacramento area Dignity Health hospitals have been recognized in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). The HEI is the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey of healthcare facilities on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of their LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees.
“As caregivers, we are always actively seeking tools to help us enhance the care we provide for all our patients,” said Angie Hammons, Dignity Health Methodist Hospital of Sacramento VP Chief Nursing Officer/Chief Operating Officer. “Following the comprehensive framework outlined in the HEI application has helped us implement several best practices for LGBTQ+ care, including policy enhancements, staff training, and additional support for patients and families.”
The HEI evaluates and scores healthcare facilities on detailed criteria falling under four central pillars:
- Foundational Policies and Training in LGBTQ+ Patient-Centered Care;
- LGBTQ+ Patient Services and Support;
- Employee Benefits and Policies; and,
- Patient and Community Engagement.
In the 2022 report, 496 facilities earned HRC’s “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation, receiving the maximum score in each section and earning an overall score of 100. Another 251 facilities earned the “Top Performer” designation with scores between 80 and 95 points and at least partial credit in each section. With 82% 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 developing, adopting, and implementing policies and practices in LGBTQ+ care. Dignity Health hospitals in the Greater Sacramento area are among dozens of Dignity Health care sites across California recognized in the 2022 HEI.
LGBTQ+ patients have historically faced significant and longstanding challenges to accessing the care they need, and Dignity Health is committed to providing welcoming, compassionate care for LGBTQ+ patients and their families.
“Every person deserves to have access to quality healthcare, be respected and heard by their doctor, and feel safe in the facility where they are receiving care. But LGBTQ+ people are often subject to discrimination in all spaces, including healthcare facilities, which leads to members of the community avoiding care and anticipating our voices will not be respected in an incredibly vulnerable environment,” said Tari Hanneman, Director of Health & Aging at The Human Rights Campaign. “The Healthcare Equality Index, at its core, strives to ensure LGBTQ+ people are protected and affirmed by their healthcare providers and feel safe seeking services. Our HEI active participants are truly pioneering the healthcare industry by implementing robust, comprehensive LGBTQ+ inclusive policies that hopefully, because of their work, will become standard practice.”
As part of the HEI process, Dignity Health worked with a nationally recognized LGBTQ+ health expert to undertake a comprehensive review of LGBTQ+ care policies and practices within the organization. Our care facilities’ updated dozens of policies to support LGBTQ+ health care outcomes, expanded training for staff and clinicians, updated patient forms and IT processes to better capture preferred pronouns and solicit feedback from LGBTQ+ patients, created the role of an LGBTQ+ patient advocate, and clarified wording in employee benefits to be explicitly inclusive of LGBTQ+ employees – to name just a few examples.
For more information about Dignity Health’s commitment to LGBTQ+ care, visit: https://www.dignityhealth.org/sacramento/about-us/diversity-and-inclusion
About Dignity Health
Dignity Health is a multi-state nonprofit network of 10,000 physicians, more than 60,000 employees, 41 acute care hospitals, and 400-plus care-centers, including community hospitals, urgent care, surgery and imaging centers, home health, and primary care clinics in Arizona, California, and Nevada. Dignity Health is dedicated to providing compassionate, high-quality, and affordable patient-centered care with special attention to the poor and underserved. Dignity Health is a part of CommonSpirit Health, a nonprofit health system committed to advancing health for all people and dedicated to serving the common good. For more information, please visit our website at www.DignityHealth.org.