Transforming Primary Care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: A Collaborative Quality Improvement Initiative

Furness, Bruce W.; Goldhammer, Hilary; Montalvo, Wanda; Gagnon, Kelly; Bifulco, Lauren; Lentine, Daniel; Anderson, Daren

PURPOSE: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people experience multiple disparities in access to care and health outcomes. We developed a quality improvement initiative, Transforming Primary Care for LGBT People, to enhance the capacity of federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) to provide culturally affirming care for this population.

METHODS: The 1-year intervention blended the models of Practice Improvement Collaboratives and Project ECHO (Extension for Community Health Outcomes) to facilitate learning and translate knowledge into action. FQHC teams received coaching in creating LGBT-inclusive environments, collecting sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data, taking risk-based sexual histories, and screening LGBT people for syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea, and HIV. We used a preintervention-postintervention evaluation design.

RESULTS: We selected 10 FQHCs serving 441,387 patients in 123 clinical sites in 9 states. The intervention spread from 10 clinicians in 10 clinical sites to 431 clinicians in 79 clinical sites. FQHCs reported increases in culturally affirming practices, including collecting patient pronoun information (42.9% increase) and identifying LGBT patient liaisons (300.0% increase). Postintervention, among 9 FQHCs reporting SOGI data from electronic health records, SOGI documentation increased from 13.5% to 50.8% of patients (276.3% increase). Among 8 FQHCs reporting number of LGBT patients, screening of LGBT patients increased from 22.3% (95% CI, 4.9%-40.0%) to 34.6% (95% CI, 19.4%-48.6%) for syphilis (86.5% increase); from 25.3% (95% CI, 7.6%-43.1%) to 44.1% (95% CI, 30.2%-58.1%) for chlamydia and gonorrhea (109.0% increase); and from 14.8% (95% CI, 3.2%-26.5%) to 30.5% (95% CI, 26.7%-34.3%) for HIV (132.4% increase).

CONCLUSIONS: FQHCs participating in this initiative reported improved capacity to provide culturally affirming care and targeted screening for LGBT patients.


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Annals of Family Medicine

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July 20, 2020


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Full Citation: Bruce W. Furness, Hilary Goldhammer, Wanda Montalvo, Kelly Gagnon, Lauren Bifulco, Daniel Lentine, Daren Anderson
The Annals of Family Medicine Jul 2020, 18 (4) 292-302; DOI: 10.1370/afm.2542