A driving force for health equity

New Research Study to Evaluate SO/GI Training in Community Health Centers

By: MJ Dunne, Research Associate

If you work in a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), you’re likely familiar with the acronym, SO/GI. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SO/GI) is one of the many data fields now integrated into the OCHIN Epic and NextGen Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems to help you better track and care for patients who are sexual and gender minorities (SGM). Studies have shown that SGM people face a disproportionate amount of poverty, homelessness, and other unmet healthcare needs. The collection of these data is crucial in health centers that care for our society’s most vulnerable people. However, opportunities to train health center staff on the collection of these data is often difficult to obtain and require time and resources, which we know is in short supply for those working on the frontlines of healthcare.

With these challenges in mind, the OCHIN Research Department is excited to announce a new study titled, “Comparative Effectiveness Research to Improve the Health of Sexual and Gender Minority Patients Through Cultural Competence and Skill Training of Community Health Center Providers and Non-Clinical Staff.” Led by Fenway Health in Boston, in partnership with OCHIN, the Alliance of Chicago, and the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), and funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), this study aims to evaluate the efficacy of SO/GI training in FQHCs across the country. The goal of this study is to understand how educational and cultural competency trainings for clinical staff assists in improving health outcomes and patient satisfaction for SGM FQHC patients.

While recruitment for this study is currently closed, The National LGBT Health Education Center out of Fenway Health currently offers trainings to FQHCs across the country. These trainings can be as simple as viewing a webinar with your staff, to a tailored in-person training specific to your health center’s needs. The Education Center also offers downloadable training materials on their website for a variety of health education needs. I urge you to contact them if your health center is struggling to implement SO/GI data collection procedures. These trainings are accessible to all FQHCs across the country and help create the building blocks for safe, intersectional, and culturally competent care to LGBTQ patients.

In addition to the LGBT Education Center materials, OCHIN also offers easily accessible workflow materials through Ella, OCHIN’s LMS, to help you navigate SO/GI data collection procedures in the EHR. Just type “SOGI” in the search bar to get started.

The OCHIN Research Department would like to thank the clinicians, staff, and patients at OHSU Richmond Clinic, and Winding Waters, for participating in this study and leading the way in this effort. The work you do matters. Whether you’re a seasoned pro in SO/GI data collection or just starting out, this is your opportunity to make the world a more inclusive and welcoming environment for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters everywhere.