Race, Ethnicity, Language, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Hackensack Meridian Health asks all patients about race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation and gender identity. These questions are asked by registration and other staff members. You can also share this information with us using MyChart.

At Hackensack Meridian Health, we believe that learning more about our patients will help us provide the highest quality care. Asking these questions is consistent with the hospital’s non-discrimination policies and federal, state, and local laws prohibiting discrimination and promotes our commitment to providing the highest quality care to all.

If you have questions, please speak with your care team or contact: consumerservices@hmhn.org

Race, Ethnicity and Language Questions

  • Organizations that are culturally competent collect relevant data and use available population-level data to help determine the needs of the surrounding community and to develop initiatives that address the health concerns of consumers.
  • Opportunities for patient self-identification promote inclusion and support the training of staff to collect sexual orientation and gender identity data.
  • The influence of demographic factors on health care and heightened awareness of health disparities can inform further research and interventions to improve outcomes for these vulnerable populations.

R = Race
E = Ethnicity (a= and)
L = Language (REaL)
S = Sexual
O = Orientation
G = Gender
I = Identity (SOGI)

Diversity matters in health care and an organization’s deep understanding of the needs of vulnerable populations is at the center of real change in patient outcomes and well being programs. Be it sex, gender, age, or ethnicity these factors present an opportunity for us to individualize our plans of care and create initiatives that promote health and wellness within whole populations of patients.

Understanding and managing this data is an important step to more patient centered personalized medicine within our network. We should all seriously consider this diversity when reporting and analyzing our own data including studies, registries and trials. This data may greatly affect the results and eventually provide guideline recommendations for health promoting patient interventions.

Race refers to a group or groups with similar features, traits or birthplace. Examples include: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American and White.

Ethnicity refers to a social group or groups with a shared history, sense of identity, geography and cultural roots which may occur despite racial differences. Examples include: Haitian, Puerto Rican, Chinese and Italian.

Although we are all individual people, our racial and ethnic backgrounds may place us at differing risks for some diseases. We can work to reduce these risks by making sure that everyone gets high quality health care.

We are asking all our patients.

You can check off all the races you belong to.

If you don’t know your race or ethnicity, you can leave those questions blank.

Preferred spoken language is the language a patient feels most comfortable using when discussing health care concerns.

HMH offers skilled medical interpreters and communication assistance free of charge to ensure that all patients and their families receive health care information in their preferred language. Medical Interpretation is provided by onsite interpreters as well as via video and telephonic services. For more information, please speak with your care team about language services.

Preferred written language is the language you feel most comfortable using when reading health care instructions.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Questions

  • Heterosexual (straight) describes women who are emotionally and sexually attracted to men, and men who are emotionally and sexually attracted to women.
  • Gay describes a person who is emotionally and sexually attracted to people of their own gender. It is a term most commonly used when talking about men.
  • Lesbian describes a woman who is emotionally and sexually attracted to other women.
  • Bisexual describes a person who is emotionally and sexually attracted to people of their own gender and people of other genders.

Gender identity is a person’s inner sense of their gender. For example, a person may think of themselves as male, as female, as a combination of male and female, or as neither gender.

  • Transgender people have a gender identity that is not the same as their sex assigned at birth.
  • Transgender man (FTM) describes someone assigned female at birth who has a male gender identity.
  • Transgender woman (MTF) describes someone assigned male at birth who has a female gender identity.
  • Genderqueer describes someone who has a gender identity that is neither male nor female, or is a combination of male
    and female.
 

Every patient has unique health needs. Research shows that members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ+) community may have different risks for some health conditions.

We are asking all our patients.

Information Collection Questions

Members of your care team will see this information. This information will become part of your medical record and will be kept confidential in accordance with all regulatory and privacy (HIPAA) requirements.

We will use this information to help meet your health care needs. In addition, gathering this information from you tells us whether there are gaps in care or services among our diverse patient populations.

There are no right or wrong answers. If you don’t find an answer that fits, you can choose “Other” or you can talk with your care team.

The hospital registration team or any team member taking care of you will be happy to answer any question that you may have about why you are being asked about your race, ethnicity, and language.

You don’t have to answer. If you choose to answer at some point in time, we will be available to assist you. Whether you answer these questions or not, we will provide you with best in class care.
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