Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient-and-Family-Centered Care for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community

October 2011 | The Joint Commission

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“"A welcoming environment is one in which all patients and families feel comfortable expressing love and support for one another."”

This guide, published by The Joint Commission, contains a compilation of strategies, practice examples, resources, and testimonials designed to assist hospital staff in improving quality of care by enhancing their efforts to provide care that is more welcoming, safe, and inclusive of LGBT patients and families. Effective patient–provider communication has been linked to an increase in patient satisfaction, better adherence to treatment recommendations, and improved health outcomes. Combining the elements of effective communication and patient-centeredness into care delivery has been shown to improve patients’ health and health care. Many resources and initiatives have been devoted to assist hospitals in efforts to advance cultural competence, improve communication, and provide equitable and more patient-centered care to several diverse patient populations. However, until recently, patients who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) have been an often overlooked community of health care consumers. This publication addresses how to incorporate LGBT patients into the goal of cultural competency in health care settings.