Recognizing gender identity improves health care experience
WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs began including gender identifiers in its national medical record system in December 2021 to help VA providers better understand and meet the health care needs of Veterans.
Providing this option demonstrates the agency’s commitment to delivering care fitting the individual needs of Veterans enrolled in VA health care, including transgender and gender-diverse Veterans.
VA added transgender male, transgender female, non-binary, other or does not wish to disclose options to its new gender identity field.
“Our goal is to align the department’s policies and procedures with the president’s vision for a more inclusive government,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “All Veterans, all people, have a basic right to be identified as they define themselves. This is essential for their general well-being and overall health. Knowing the gender identity of transgender and gender diverse Veterans helps us better serve them.”
A person’s gender identity conveys essential information about who they are and may signal experiences of stigma and discrimination that can affect their health. VA health records now display both gender identity and preferred name, so VA staff can address the Veteran appropriately.
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