DAP Health Acknowledged as an LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Top Performer
June 27, 2022
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation has released its 15th anniversary edition of their Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) and DAP Health is proud to announce that we've earned an “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Top Performer” designation. Among the 906 health care facilities that actively participated in the HEI survey, only 251 earned the Top Performer designation.
The HEI 2022 report states that, "No one facing health concerns should also have to worry about receiving inequitable or substandard care because of their LGBTQ+ status." And in a press release, Tari Hanneman, Director of Health & Aging at The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), notes that “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.”
Carl Baker, DAP Health's Contracts and Program Monitor, explains that the HEI rating demonstrates to the general population, and in particular the LGBTQ community, that DAP Health is a safe space to receive medical, dental, and behavioral health services. "By 'Safe Space' I mean LGBTQ [with a strong focus on our transgender family] individuals will find a staff that is trained and, in large part, also members of the LGBTQ community." In addition, he adds that the HEI rating indicates that a clinic is free from judgement and stigma. "In general, people are hesitant to speak freely to their health care providers. However, if a patient is comfortable and feels welcome and accepted, they are more likely to follow their treatment plans, return for follow-up visits, and take their medications on a regular schedule. Also, when dealing with sexually transmitted diseases, it is imperative that patients are in a judgement-free zone and are not afraid to discuss their sexual behaviors, including drug and alcohol use."
Since the survey is also employee focused, it looks at a facility's number of LGBTQ staff members, their training and employee benefits, as well as companywide celebrations and information on LGBTQ events and Pride.
To determine which health care facilities are ultimately worthy of an LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equity Top Performer designation the HEI evaluates and scores the facilities on detailed criteria that fall under four central pillars: Foundational Policies and Training; LGBTQ+ Patient Services and Support; Employee Benefits and Policies; and Patient and Community Engagement.
Baker explains that survey points "are awarded for compliance for the existence of policies, staff training, staff involvement with LGBTQ awareness events, and ability to refer patients and clients for ancillary services in a welcoming environment. For example, for all of our referral services—services we do not perform onsite: dermatology, OB/GYN, orthopedics, etc.—we require the third party specialists to have an open and inclusive practice, as well as indicated in our Memorandum of Agreement with each third party referral. We upload policies and proof of training to HRC."
While DAP Health is honored to receive an LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Top Performer designation, we're equally proud that, on a daily basis, our staff is always looking for ways to continue to improve health care equality for everyone in our community.