In the context of Main Line Health’s Diversity, Respect, Equity and Inclusion initiative, it was both natural and mandatory to pursue the elimination of disparities among the LGBTQ community. We first worked to improve our electronic medical record (EMR) intake process to include LGBTQ-related patient data.
System-wide, we adopted a new policy with regard to gender-neutral bathrooms. We had a choice—to either simply put up a sign with male/female identifiers or to add a statement about the importance of gender identity and expression. The Main Line Health leadership team chose the latter in order to make a clear statement to our staff, patients, visitors and community members about our commitment to equity in this arena. We have also:
- Updated system policies to incorporate inclusive language, including the language of our bereavement policy, which expanded the definition of “family”
- Created new policies to protect employees from being terminated based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression
- Developed a curriculum to train providers on inclusive care practices and the unique healthcare needs of the LGBTQ community
- Seen Main Line Health's Bryn Mawr Family Practice residency program become the first practice identified as LGBTQ Inclusive Care provider, a program that was officially launched in June 2018
While all of MLH’s practices provide superior care to patients, the physicians and staff in our “Inclusive Care” practices undergo additional training related to the specific needs of the LGBTQ community.