15 July 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Resources for hospitals and clinics to collect sexual orientation and gender identity demographic data

Author: mohec-admin

The Center for Health Policy at the University of Missouri has worked with Missouri Hospital Association, the Hospital Industry Data Institute, the Missouri Primary Care Association, PROMO, and Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders (SAGE) of PROMO Fund to get a better understanding of how we are collecting patient information around race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation and gender identity. The goal is to eliminate health disparities and create inclusive health care environments. Asking questions about sexual orientation and gender identity communicates to all patients that the organization is truly dedicated to fostering inclusivity and promoting quality care for all.

Why do we ask?

  1. To know all patients better, so we can better meet their needs
  2. To improve delivery of culturally acceptable health care services
  3. To ensure adequate interpreter services, patient information materials, and efficient cultural training for staff

What are the best practices recommended for data collection?

  • Patients should self-report the information (health care staff DO NOT make observations and designate a category based on those observations)
  • Comprehensive training for accurate collection
  • Use of scripts for the questions on race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation and gender identity

Examples of recommended questions for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Fenway Health Registration Form (Alper, Feit, & Sanders, 2013, p. 32)

Do you think of yourself as….?
o Lesbian, gay, or homosexual
o Straight or heterosexual
o Bisexual
o Something else
o Don’t know

What is your gender?
o Female
o Male
o Genderqueer or not exclusively male or female

What was your sex at birth?
o Female
o Male

Do you identify as transgender or transsexual?
o Yes
o No
o Don’t know


Assigned sex at birth (GenIUSS Group, & Williams Institute, 2014, p. 5)
What sex were you assigned at birth, on your original birth certificate?
 Male
 Female
Current gender identity
How do you describe yourself? (Check one)
 Male
 Female
 Transgender
 Do not identify as female, male, or transgender

The National LGBT Health Education Center, Fenway Institute (Alper, Feit, & Sanders, 2013, p. 43):

For asking about Sexual Orientation

Do you think of yourself as:
 Straight or heterosexual
 Lesbian, gay, or homosexual
 Bisexual
 Something else
 Don’t know

For asking about Gender Identity (National LGBT Health Education Center, 2015, p. 2-3)

Do you think of yourself as:
 Male
 Female
 Female-to-Male (FTM)/Transgender Male/Trans man
 Male-to-Female (MTF)/Transgender Female/ Trans woman
 Genderqueer, neither exclusively male nor female
 Additional gender category/ (or Other), please specify____________
 Something else

What sex were you assigned at birth on your original birth certificate?
(Check one):
 Male
 Female
 Decline to Answer


GenIUSS Group & Williams Institute (University of California, Los Angeles. School of Law). (2014). Best practices for asking questions to identify transgender and other gender minority respondents on population-based surveys.

Collecting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Data in Electronic Health Records Taking the Next Steps. National LGBT Health Education Center (2015, August). Retrieved from http://www.lgbthealtheducation.org/wp-content/uploads/Collecting-SOGI-Data-in-EHRs-COM2111.pdf


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