A Guelph Family Health Team clinic, supported by our community partner ARCH (HIV/AIDS Resources & Community Health clinic), has been working to improve access to equitable, high quality health care for patients within the practice that identify as LGBTQ+.
MORE NEEDED TO BE DONE
Many team members identified that improvements to care needed to go beyond just posting “safe space” signs.
In their first year of working together, the group has accomplished:
- Increased education: Sensitivity and inclusivity training for all clinic staff and clinicians regarding transgender and gender non-conforming patients was provided by Deanna Clatworthy, RPN and clinic corrdinator at ARCH (over 50 staff including physicians, allied health, administrative support, management, etc.)
- Meaningful signage: After receiving training, the working group designed signage around positive space and inclusivity that reflected their commitment of great primary care for all individuals
- Hearing from patients: A group of individuals who identify as transgender shared their experiences in health care with our working group
- Hearing from clinicians: We surveyed Family Doctors and Nurse Practitioners on transgender health care. Currently, 19% have initiated hormone therapy and 44% would consider providing access if tools and resources were provided.
- The creation of trans health care tools: Development of an EMR clinical tool to help Family Doctors and Nurse Practitioners navigate resources and guidelines needed to provide trans affirming health care, including initiating hormone therapy and referring for gender affirming surgeries.
Guelph Family Health Team is excited to see this team work collaboratively focused on improving patient care and access for the LGBTQ+ community. Their improvement work continues with a plan to expand to other FHT clinics across Guelph. Stay tuned!