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BCH supports health equity in data collection

  • Category: General, LGBTQIA+
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Boulder Community Health
BCH supports health equity in data collection

BCH is meeting the health needs of the LGBTQ community through accurate data collection

This week, Governor Jared Polis signed H.B. 22-1157 into law, requiring all entities that report data to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to include sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, race, and ethnicity in their data collection and reporting.

But this is not new for Boulder Community Health (BCH). In 2015, BCH identified limitations in our previous electronic health record (EHR) that were an impediment to best serving our LGBTQIA+ community, so we invested $34 million in EPIC to completely modernize our systems for improved care. EPIC and MyBCH were introduced to our community in 2019. This EHR allows for patients’ Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity data (SOGI data) to be entered and updated at all care encounters, and the most recent data is available to all BCH staff and providers when accessing a patient’s chart.

Here is a look into what a BCH provider sees when accessing a patient’s chart regarding SOGI data:

Screenshot of BCH’s SOGI data page for patients.

Screenshot of BCH’s SOGI data page for patients. Click image to view larger.

Updates to our data collection also include the ability for patients to provide us with their preferred name and their gender identity through MyBCH, their private patient portal.

BCH’s President & CEO Rob Vissers, M.D. says that collecting SOGI data in this way “helps us treat our patients as whole individuals. We know it is essential that our electronic health systems at BCH support the full treatment of people’s physical, mental and social needs.”

Vissers was quoted alongside Mardi Moore, BCH Board Member and the Executive Director of Out Boulder County in an article titled “Out Gov. Jared Polis signs new law to learn more about LGBTQ health” on the on June 3, 2022.

“BCH wants to create positive health outcomes for every member of our community, and we know people of historically marginalized groups are at greater risk for illness and poor health outcomes," said Rob Vissers, M.D., President & CEO of Boulder Community Health. "This is just as true for Boulder County as for the rest of the country. Collecting accurate demographic data is a key tool to understanding the problems our diverse community is facing so that we can take collective action toward ending health disparities.”

BCH is committed to continuing to refine our data collection systems over time to reflect the diversity of our patients, and we are grateful for Out Boulder County’s advocacy in this work toward equitable practices in data collection.

For more information, please visit our LGBTQIA+ Service page.