As much of the city basks in the warm afterglow of Pride Month, here at Yinova we like to take the weeks following Pride to reflect on what it means to be an LGBTQ+ friendly practice.
Although we notice our city moving towards more progressive and inclusive ideals, there are still a lot of ways in which the medical world is playing catch-up as they aim to provide a more inclusive atmosphere for members of the LGBTQ+ community. That said, there are little ways that individual practices can make a significant difference in patient experience.
At Yinova, we strive to let our patients know in big and small ways that we want to create a space that is warm, thoughtful, and inclusive.
Below are a couple of examples of how we aim to be mindful of our LGBTQ+ patients and staff.
Using gender neutral language can allow for more open communication and leave fewer instances in which patients need to make corrections. It also lets them know that they’re in an environment that holds space for them to speak openly about their lives without fear of judgement. Using a term like “partner” rather than terms such as “husband,” “wife,” “boyfriend,” or “girlfriend” is one example of neutral language that leaves an opportunity for all patients to discuss their lives without coming up against erroneous assumptions about their family structures.
A simple change in signage on a bathroom door can be a nice way of showing trans and non-binary patients that you are taking them into account in your space. Our signs clearly state “All Gender Bathroom” which lets our patients know that we acknowledge and welcome all the wonderful and varied manifestations of gender identity.
One of the most stubborn issues we’ve run into when it comes to inclusivity is with regard to our electronic health record software. Although immensely helpful, our software provides very limited scroll-down options for gender and provides no opportunity for inquiring about preferred pronoun usage. The ability to be properly seen and referred to is a fundamental aspect of forging respect and visibility between practitioners and patients. While we are disappointed in our struggle to customize our digital intake questionnaire, we are eager to acknowledge gender identity and preferred pronouns by making sure they are included in patient charts. Our practitioners are happy to manually enter notes and we strongly encourage all patients to provide us with this information along with relevant information on legal names that may currently differ from chosen names.
Listening to Patients
One of the most important aspects of social growth is the receptivity to listening to feedback from a variety of communities. We want to make it known that we are open to new ideas regarding inclusivity and that welcome feedback from our patients regarding their experiences at Yinova- or in the medical world, in general.
If you would like to know more about how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can benefit you and or a beloved member of the LGBTQ+ community, check out our LGBTQ+ Health page or reach out to a member of our staff via phone or email.