Tulane Medical Center and Tulane Lakeside Hospital for Women and Children have received the “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Top Performer” designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization. The designation was reported in the 11th edition of the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). A record 626 healthcare facilities actively participated in the HEI 2018 survey.  Among the HEI participants, 95 earned an “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Top Performer” designation.

“Tulane Medical Center was the first hospital in the area to achieve the LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Top Performer designation back in 2015,” said Vivek Khanna, director of contracts management at Tulane Health System and LGBTQ champion. “Maintaining Top Performer status at Tulane Medical Center and Tulane Lakeside Hospital is a testament to the continuous support of our leadership team and our hard-working staff, who strive to ensure that the policies and practices throughout the health system are inclusive and affirming for our LGBTQ patients and employees.”

“With some of our biggest battles still ahead of us, it is crucial that institutions continue to demonstrate the march toward full equality is not slowing down,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The 626 participants in this year’s HEI continue this march in partnership with the LGBTQ community. For the past decade, the HEI has been the roadmap to closing the gap in ensuring equal care to LGBTQ patients and their families, and we urge every healthcare facility to join us in this continuing effort to provide inclusive care to all.”

The 11th edition of the HEI marks the second year that participants were given a score based on how many LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices they have in place. HEI participants are given scores in four criteria that represent how many policies and best practices from each section they have implemented: Foundational Elements of LGBTQ Patient-centered Care, LGBTQ Patient Services and Support, Employee Benefits and Policies, and LGBTQ Patient and Community Engagement. Participants that receive the maximum score in each section for a total score of 100 points earn the coveted status of “2018 LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader.” Participants that score between 80 and 95 points earn the status of “2018 LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Top Performer.”

In the 2018 report, an impressive 418 facilities earned HRC’s “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation given to facilities that receive a score of 100 points. With 82 percent of participating facilities scoring 80 points or more, healthcare facilities are going beyond the basics when it comes to adopting policies and practices in LGBTQ care, Griffin said.