Capturing Transgender Identity on Community Health Patient Registration Forms
*Judith Bradford, Fenway Institute
Keywords: transgender, administrative data, community-based healthcare
Sparse information about the health status of transgender people has become a national concern, noted by the Institute of Medicine and the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. At Fenway Health in Boston MA, we gathered preferences of transgender patients on how to ask questions about gender minority identification on the patient registration form - a critical tool for gathering demographic information. We used principles of community-based participatory research, incorporating a community advisory board (CAB) of transgender patients, research staff, and service providers to the population. The CAB discussed the current registration form and a mock-up with three identity question variations, leading to substantial design changes in the form to be tested with recent and current transgender patients. Paper and online versions were offered, using clinic-based contacts (health-care providers and fliers) and email announcements to all patients to access the survey using www.surveymonkey.com. 180 responses were received; very few participants chose the paper format. Analysis of qualitative and quantitative data was completed in May 2012 and will be presented.