Final rules issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in October 2015 require electronic health record software certified for Meaningful Use to include sexual orientation and gender identity (SO/GI) fields. This is a critical step toward making SO/GI data collection a standard practice in clinical settings. Sexual orientation identity-whether one identifies as gay, lesbian, or bisexual-correlates with behavioral health burden, and it is important to collect these data. Providers should also collect sex assigned at birth data as well as current gender identity data. Training of clinical staff in collection and use of SO/GI data, education of LGBT patients, and SO/GI nondiscrimination policies are critical for successful implementation.
Keywords: clinical care; gender identity; health disparities; public policy and advocacy; sexual orientation.