Safe Healthcare For All Patients: Voices of the LGBTQ Community Seeking Safe and Inclusive Care


  • Catherine M. Reynolds Patient Safety Authority


LGBTQ, stigma, inclusive, safe, misgendered, marginalization, community, transgender


Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) community have long described experiencing stigma and lack awareness and education about their needs in healthcare environments. These experiences often lead to anxiety and avoidance to seek further healthcare when needed. Delay or lack of treatment for medical and psychiatric symptoms is a patient safety issue that can lead to poor patient outcomes.

Growth and shifting of attitudes can come with open listening and seeking to gain perspective on how LGBTQ individuals view safe and inclusive care. The Patient Safety Authority (PSA) captured some of these voices in asking participants at the 2019 Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference to share experiences they have had seeking healthcare. We share them here to broaden an ongoing dialogue and discuss initial steps healthcare facilities could take to improve the patient experience for LGBTQ individuals. 

Author Biography

Catherine M. Reynolds, Patient Safety Authority

Catherine M. Reynolds ( is a patient safety liaison with the Patient Safety Authority, working directly with more than 80 healthcare facili-ties in Southeast Pennsylvania to improve patient safety through consulting, education, and collaboration. An accomplished healthcare and patient safety profes-sional, she specializes in the analysis of adverse events and facilitywide implementation of patient safety plans. With over 20 years of experience in healthcare, she has served as a registered nurse and patient safety professional in Philadelphia-area hospitals.


Institute of Medicine 2011. The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, andTrans-gender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

The Fenway Institute. Improving the Healthcare of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexu-al, and Transgender (LGBT) People: Understanding and Eliminating Health Disparities. Jan. 2016.

Human Rights Campaign. Healthcare Quality Index 2019: Promoting Equitable and Inclusive Care forLesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Patients and Their Families. 2019.

The Joint Commission. Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family-Centered Care for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community: A Field Guide. Oak Brook, IL,Oct. 2011.

Healthcare Quality Index 2019. Promoting Equitable and Inclusive Care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Patients and Their Families pdf?_ga=2.10755447.2119733569.1570248174-1514098497.1557278929

LGBTQ Flag flying in the blue sky.



How to Cite

Reynolds, C. M. . (2020). Safe Healthcare For All Patients: Voices of the LGBTQ Community Seeking Safe and Inclusive Care. Patient Safety, 2(1), 64–71. Retrieved from
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