Transgender Patient Safety: Treating an "Invisible" Demographic

October 30, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​A unique problem with treating the transgender population is that "they have no demographic—they're invisible," stated Sue Boisvert, BSN, MHSA, CPHRM, FASHRM, senior risk management consultant for Coverys, speaking at the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management annual conference in Seattle, Washington, on October 16, 2017. Because most data management systems lack an option to identify patients as transgender, transgender patients don't show up in federal census data, crime statistics, public health data, or third-party payer data. Lack of this data, according to Boisvert, makes it almost impossible to perform essential tasks such as population management, strategic service planning, and identification of healthcare disparities. In addition, co-presenter Annemarie Provencher, RN, HNC, CPHRM, senior risk specialist for Coverys, cited a 2016 survey in which 24% of transgender patients surveyed reported having to teach their medical providers about transgender care, and 15% reported being asked unnecessary or invasive questions about their transgender status unrelated to their chief complaint.

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