Devoting time to listen to patients reveals powerful insights. For an individual who may feel marginalized by society, and seemingly invisible to the world, genuine attention, active listening and understanding from a physician goes a long way to building a trusting relationship that can lead to better outcomes for all.
With more than 12.2 million members across the country, Kaiser Permanente instituted comprehensive, integrated transgender member care programs that treat a person's total health—mind, body and spirit. When our Oakland Multi-Specialty Transitions Clinic opened in 2013, it was one of the first transgender person health clinics offering comprehensive services opened by a major U.S. health organization.
At the inception of these programs we asked LGBTQ members to help design and plan the care pathway. Transgender Member Patient Advisory Councils have provided remarkable insights into what culturally responsive care really means. For example, it is essential that patients are given the opportunity to let all care providers know their preferred pronoun and have it embedded in the medical record. It's of critical importance so physicians and healthcare teams are truly connected to the identity of transgender patients.