EQTX launches Hospital Equality Project

Equality Texas is surveying hospitals and patients to compile a database of hospitals in the state with LGBT-friendly policies.

Torsten Knabe, a public policy intern with the statewide LGBT advocacy group, said the idea is in response to many new federal guidelines regarding things like visitation, and he wants to see whether policies like it have been properly implemented.

Knabe is calling the project Hospital Equality Project, which has two parts. The first is a Hospital Equality Index that is completed by hospital human resources representatives about the policies they have. The second is the Hospital Equality Survey for patients to fill out based on their experiences at hospitals.

He has narrowed the survey down to about 10 policies to focus on for hospitals to see if they have them and to what level they are enforced. He said he still wants people to complete a survey even if the hospital does not have the policy, so he can work with hospitals to create them.

And he wants to direct people who have had bad experiences or faced discrimination in hospitals to contact the hospital or police to report it.

Knabe then wants to publish the hospital information into an online searchable database for people across the state, which he said would be a vital resource for comfortable and quality healthcare.

“It’s important because it’ll allow people to know and have more information to take care of their health needs,” he said.

Only two Texas hospitals completed surveys for the Human Rights Campaign’s Hospital Equality Index in 2012 about LGBT-friendly policies, Legacy Community Health Services and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, both in Houston.

To take the patient survey, go here.

—  Anna Waugh