A targeted hospital, when we researched online, was discovered to have what appeared to be a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). How exciting, right? Now I just needed to find someone inside to complete the survey. I didn’t know anyone on the management team, but from my days in the legislature I’d met and worked with the hospital’s lobbyist. He had some checking to do and what he reported to me was a bit shocking but maybe not really surprising, this is Missouri after all. This hospital did not want anyone to know about their policies and so were not going to complete the survey. No explanation was given so I can only speculate. Are they worried about anti-LGBT protesters outside their hospital? Obviously, executives at the highest level think it is important to have policies that are friendly to both LGBT patients and employees. But until those policies are promoted to patients they won’t really create any change. Our job in the next year will be to convince them that the public supports workplace fairness and an LGBT patient’s right to health care free from discrimination.
People need to know this information, so why am I being mysterious? Because I prefer the carrot (versus the stick) approach. I will be working with this hospital to encourage them to complete the 2014 HRC HEI. I’m hopeful they will do it willingly this year. Why? Because if they don’t, HRC is going to include this hospital in the HEI 2014 anyway. HRC staff will evaluate them vis-a-vis the Core Four criteria for LGBT patient-centered care even if they choose not to actively participate.