Diversity-friendly gender categories requested

The system currently only allows "M" and "F" for gender. This does not work for patients who identify as transgender or otherwise outside the gender binary. Is it possible to have another category? "Other" is far from ideal but it would be much better than just "M" or "F." Since entering a gender category is required (and not optional) to create a new patient profile, it is disappointing that the categories are set up this way. I hope there are plans to fix this problem in the near future.

Thank you!
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  • Thanks for the posting your feedback, Annie! This is a wonderful suggestion, so I’m moving your notes over to the Idea section for our product team to review. Stay tuned here for updates as they become available.
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    Our practice treats a lot of patients who identify as trans or genderqueer. We make every effort to be inclusive for all of our patients and have continually reworked our paperwork so that this particular population knows there is a safe place for them in our practice. I cringe every time I have to create a legal medical record and am forced to select the "M" or the "F" for an individual who would not chose either. There is no reason that Gender should be a required field necessary to create a new record. Please consider making this an optional selection when adding a new patient. Thank you.
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  • Come on PF, any help, any response? It's sad that PF's inattention to this matter is just another area where this population is ignored or invisible in our healthcare system.
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  • 2
    Actually, there was a much older thread with many comments entitled "transgender patients" which I was following and am unable to find now by searching or by following the old links sent to me by PF in the past. Where has it gone? There were many excellent points made and it was clear that this is an important topic from that thread. Come on, PF, after we all made our points clearly for more than a year, do we really have to do it all over again? Our clinic is maintaining two sets of charts-- one electronic with you, and one paper set for all of our patients who cannot be included in PF because of their gender identities. If you're not planning to made the gender option inclusive and accessible, just say so.
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  • Hi LIz, thank you for taking the time to share your experience. I apologize that the larger thread where this issue was discussed is no longer available. In late May we transitioned to a new forum where we were not able to transfer existing thread to this Help Forum.

    We are passionate about change and encourage conversations and feedback around how we can improve the EHR. Our program manager gather information and gauge popularity of suggestions and Ideas on this forum.
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    We really need a gender category for "trans" at least, in addition to M/F. Please!
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  • This reply was removed on 2013-08-28.
    see the change log
  • 1
    We are looking for software that is inclusive. We need multiple categories to include all on the gender spectrum so that we can best care for our patients. It looks like our practice is not the first with this issue. Is there a timeline on when you believe this issue to resolved? Thanks for you time.
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  • 1
    Please take care of this issue, PF! We would like to serve our trans and non-gender binary patients well and offer an environment of support, dignity and safety. Even making the gender selection optional would help a lot - how hard is that to do?
    Tatyana Ryevzina, LAc
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  • Hi Nicole & Tatyana, thank you for adding your voice to this Idea. I agree that diversity friendly gender categories would be a wonderful addition to Practice Fusion- I'll ensure your comments and thoughts are forwarded to the appropriate team for consideration.
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  • Thanks, Ashley - I look forward to hearing updates on this after it has been forwarded!
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  • Hi PF staff -

    Our clinic and many others are still wondering about whether this idea has been reviewed. Please give us an update!

    Thanks,
    Annie
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  • Hi everyone!

    There is some pretty great discussion going on in this thread. As I feel this is a fantastic idea for a feature request, I've sent some information to other product team members to get their feedback as well.

    If you have suggestions for what the full list of viable sex/gender options might be, feel free to add them as suggestions on this thread: Any and all suggestions will be reviewed if we decide to move forward with this feature request!
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  • 2
    Great question! Thanks for asking for feedback, Richie.

    At a minimum, I suggest adding a "transgender" category. This label doesn't fit for everyone, but having a non-M/F option will provide a better fit for many people who do not have an unambiguously "male" or "female" body and/or gender identity.

    Having another category will help clinicians and administrative staff become more aware of gender diversity, and help their practices serve patients better.
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  • 1
    I think this is a very necessary step and should cause minimal to no disruption to implement. I would suggest leaving the option for no gender identification at the very least. Thank you.
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  • would you not select the sex based on how the patient is legally registered and change it as needed down the road when the person legally changed the sex.

    just a thought
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  • 2
    Hi Cindy,

    Thanks for sharing that thought. I think it's important to remember that for people who are transitioning, there can be a very long transition period - it is far from an overnight process!

    There are a variety of ways to make the transition related to sex and gender (e.g. how a person presents, what clothes they wear, body language, as well as interventions such as hormones and surgery, etc). Some people may make all of these changes, but others might choose some changes and not others. Some people may ultimately choose to identify as male or female, but others may not, even when making changes to their sex or gender presentation. It is quite often not a matter of "black and white."

    Also, it is very important for clinicians to understand the unique concerns that transgender (or otherwise non-M/F-identifying) patients present with. An example is a person who identifies as male but has a "female" reproductive system. It's important that physicians or other clinicians can address the patient as a whole person so they do not miss important health considerations.

    I hope that changes to Practice Fusion help make it easier for practices to understand and address the health needs of patients who are transgender or who do not fit a "M" or "F" label.
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  • 2
    There is no "full list" -- we're talking about people's identities! Because there really is no way (or reason) to list every possible gender identity (not to mention the fact that for many people gender identity is not static), the best solution is that the gender field be optional and have a free text choice. And please, do not replace it with a required field for the "sex" of our patients.

    While I appreciate your consideration, this has been an open conversation for a long time now and I'm not sure that it is understood that this problem is keeping us from utilizing PracticeFusion for our patients who cannot be entered into the system as is. This is a practical issue that really needs to be addressed.
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    For Real, PF? You can get in there on a whim and change "gender" to "sex" but you can't just give us an option to leave gender blank/optional? It seems like you might just be messing with us now. We are not sexing kittens or chicks here, these are human patients who deserve to have their medical record reflect their identity.
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  • Hi Everyone!

    The hardest part of coming up with a solution for this issue is to find ways in which data can easily be searched, filtered and reported on (which would be difficult with a free-form text field) and balancing out the government requirements regarding Meaningful Use.

    I've had a few discussions with fellow product team members regarding this and we're figuring out what the right approach would be. As we come up with a more solidified list of idea, we will likely float them out to the community forum for feedback.

    Thank you all for helping to make Practice Fusion better for all of our patients!
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  • Hi Richie -

    I definitely understand the constraints presented by the need for closed-end categories as far as data reporting. Our clinic isn't required to report this data to third parties, but I understand that other practices may have that need.

    I'm hoping your group has had a chance sometime during the last few weeks to brainstorm some ideas for how to make Practice Fusion inclusive for patients at different points on the gender spectrum besides M and F. I look forward to hearing the progress -- when do you think we might see a "transgender" category?

    Thanks for your attention to this,
    Annie
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  • 1
    Hi Richie,

    Thanks for posting your reply last month. I think my latest reply must have been overlooked - it's been a busy couple of weeks for me too, so I understand! Please know that our clinic, along with many others, is eager to hear back regarding the progress on more inclusive categories, such as "transgender." What is the status on this?

    Thank you,
    Annie
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  • Hi Annie, thanks for your dedication in following up on this Idea.
    We were able to follow-up directly with Richie regarding the status of this suggestion.

    Right now we don’t have anything specifically planned related to diversity-friendly gender categories, but it is something that our team would like to try to tackle sometime next year.

    As "next year" probably isn't the ideal answer, I'd like provide some context on what our team is currently focused on executing for the remainder of the year, which is becoming Meaningful Use Stage 2 certified by the end of 2013. See a full list of Meaningful Use criteria we're working on here.

    As mentioned, this is an idea a number of team members like and we appreciate you sharing.
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  • 3
    Every day in our clinic, we work together to make a continued effort to make our spaces inclusive to everyone, and of course that includes patients that don't fall into the M/F gender binary. I am proud to work at a clinic that has thought long and hard about this, and yet, our EHR doesn't currently support where our hearts are at.

    I've read through this thread and am trying to imagine what kinds of meetings you all are having over this, but really, I don't think this needs to be hard. I agree with the comment above -- a "complete list" isn't possible. What is possible is to add transgender to the list of choices and make gender selection not required, and soon.

    This doesn't require a tabling of all of your other plans for the year. I have enough friends in programming to know that these are in essence easy changes to make. Since it's not time but rather your understanding of the urgency of the issue that is really what's holding this up, I'd like to urge you again to bring your attention to this matter. Thank you for reading and for your consideration.
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    I'd like to second everything Annie has said so far on this thread. Please just add an "other" or "Transgender" option to the M and F options. Either of these would create an option for our patients whose gender does not fall into a binary. This is a simple programming fix, it doesn't take months to implement.
    Are there only two gender options for the statistics the government collects for meaningful use? Is that why this hasn't been implemented? I'm forced to randomly choose a gender for patients who don't fit the options when I create a chart for them. Why don't you do that for your reporting?
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    Thanks for the update, Ashley.

    I can definitely understand, given that we're nearing the end of 2013, that this may realistically be a 2014 action item. I appreciate that you are giving this careful consideration and thought. I do, like the others commenting here, want to continue to urge that this be considered an important priority and kept on the agenda to be addressed as soon as feasibly possible.

    I absolutely think this relates to Meaningful Use statistics - there are many patients falling through the cracks as far as having accurate records. Changing your software will be an excellent way to not only improve the quality of the Meaningful Use data, but also address patients as the whole people that they are.

    Thank you for continuing the dialogue and for keeping this on the agenda. I'm sure you can understand we are all eager for this change to be implemented. Until then, we encounter this issue each and every time we have a new patient who doesn't fit in to one of the 2 boxes. It is frustrating for us and we want to do better for our patients.

    We will appreciate continuing to hear what is in the works. Please feel free to post updates as they happen. As you know, I'll continue to check in periodically!

    Thanks,
    Annie
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  • 1
    Hello again!

    Happy new year! I hope that the January 1st, 2014 roll-out of new features is going well. As things settle with that, I hope to hear that creating a more inclusive set of categories for sex/gender is still a priority. Please keep us updated, as many of us are eager to be able to better serve our patients with Practice Fusion in this way.

    Thank you,
    Annie
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  • Hi Annie! Our Product Team has not provided a timeline as to when this feature will be available. We appreciate your patience and we'll keep you updated just as soon as we have more information.

    Happy New Year!
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    Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for your response. I hope that you have more information soon. When do you anticipate you will find out about a timeline? And is there anything else that I and other Practice Fusion users can do in order to help make it known that this feature is needed?

    Thanks for your help,
    Annie
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    • Hi -

      I'm still waiting for a response from Sarah, or if Sarah is unavailable, from any other PF staff who can help clarify the status on this.

      Thank you,
      Annie
    • Hi Annie,

      Thank you for your input on this. As you can imagine, we receive a high volume of feature requests. While I can certainly see the importance of this one, please keep in mind that implementing features takes some time. We will update this thread when we have more information on the progress of this. Thank you for your participation and your patience.
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  • I’m thinking.. and PF must have fed back to HL7 Committee
    Inasmuch as I have read through this thread and some mention of other threads with the same/similar topic was noted by one reader I will try to find it also.-- could n't find but the screen is here in search word gender:

    http://forum.practicefusion.com/pract...

    Crux of the matter seems reside in a statement though already made by an Official correctly 2 to 3 to 4 times-- did't count as that count is not important-- i.e. the Official correctly said about data searchable & interchange of information... However, this was lost in translation ( though, PF internally can show this somewhere as an additional line item e.g. in free text are of Basic info...) but a simple line somewhere could have helped that it may be a HL7 issue and PF ( & cannot just add a category without HL7 approval and adoption by entire EHR community/vendors) by now must have fed back the request to them with inputs descriptors for this other category. HL7 or whatever data interchange standard is called/in future will be called decides on the format and PF may not have a choice...

    see also:
    http://forum.practicefusion.com/pract...
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  • Hi there,

    May we please have an update on the status for this - for adding a "transgender" category, at least? And again, please let us know what we can do to emphasize that this is a priority. Our practice and others need for this to be addressed.

    Thank you,
    Annie
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