From Healthcare Informatics: http://www.healthcare-informatics.com/article/meeting-needs-transgender-patients-medical-informaticists-work-through-ehr-challenges
Efforts are underway to find ways to modify EHRs in order to meet the special needs of transgender patients
by Mark Hagland
May 30, 2013
On April 30, 2013, JAMIA, theJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association, published online an article titled “Electronic medical records and the transgender patient: recommendations from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health EMR Working Group,” authored by Madeline B. Deutsch, M.D., Jamison Green, Ph.D., JoAnne Keatley, M.S.W.., Gal Mayer, M.D., Jennifer Hastings, M.D., and Alexandra M. Hall, M.D.
As the article’s abstract notes, “Transgender patients have particular needs with respect to demographic information and health records; specifically, transgender patients may have a chosen name and gender identity that differs from their current legally designated name and sex. Additionally,” the authors note, “sex-specific health information, for example, a man with a cervix or a woman with a prostate, requires special attention electronic health record (EHR) systems. The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) is an international multidisciplinary professional association that publishes recognized standards for the care of transgender and gender-variant persons.”
The Executive Committee of WPATH last year convened an Electronic Medical Records Working Group comprised of clinicians and clinical informaticists, in order to make recommendations for developers, vendors, and users of EHRs, with respect to the needs of transgender patients. The recent result of that committee’s work was published in 2012 as an online book, available free of charge, and titled “Collecting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Data in Electronic Health Records: Workshop Summary.” That document was prepared by Joe Alper, Monica N. Feit, and Jon Q. Sanders, for the Board on the Health of Select Populations of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), as a summary of the workshop “Collecting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Data in Electronic Health Records.”
Madeline B. “Maddie” Deutsch, M.D., of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, who was the lead author of the JAMIA article, spoke recently with HCI Editor-in-Chief Mark Hagland regarding the challenges and opportunities inherent in honoring the wishes and needs of transgender and gender-variant patients while working with electronic health records. Below are excerpts from that interview.
What was your goal in doing this research and putting together this article?
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