October 16, 2017 | by Greg Richter
Starting today, Penn Medicine hospitals in Philadelphia are asking patients to share more information in their EHRs. For example, in addition to reporting their sex at birth, patients are now offered the opportunity to provide specific information about their gender identity and sexual orientation, as well as their ethnicity and preferred spoken and written language. The first such update in 10 years, the changes follow national Healthy People 20/20 recommendations as well as the Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Medicine) National Academies report on what to collect on patients’ background and characteristics. Knowing about ethnicity and gender identity can help a clinician be more adept at communicating with patients and more accurate in diagnosing and treating conditions.In addition to collecting this information during the check-in process with front desk staff, patients will soon be able to report this information privately through the online patient accessible health record platform mypennmedicine, or at kiosks and tablets on site.