In 2020, a study found that compared to family, educational and work settings, the area where members of the LGBTQIA+ community feel the most discrimination is the healthcare industry of Australia. This is unfortunate, given that approximately 11% of the Australian population identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex. The same survey also found that LGBTQIA+ community members are more likely to change GPs more often, citing unacceptance as the main reason for this lack of continuity of care.
Healthcare organisations looking to be more inclusive can look towards getting Rainbow Tick Accreditation to demonstrate their commitment to creating a more inclusive and accepting workplace culture. This accreditation is designed to help organisations meet national healthcare standards while ensuring they provide quality care to patients from the LGBTQIA+ community.
What is Rainbow Tick Accreditation?
The Rainbow Tick Accreditation program is a formal process that assesses healthcare organisations against certain standards and criteria. These standards have been developed by Rainbow Health Australia, an organisation that provides healthcare consulting services to help providers create more inclusive and accepting environments. The Rainbow Tick Accreditation program is designed to support healthcare providers in meeting the needs of LGBTQIA+ patients while also creating a more inclusive culture for staff.
The program involves a rigorous assessment process that includes a review of policies and procedures, as well as interviews with staff and patients. The Rainbow Tick Accreditation team assesses healthcare organisations against six key standards. These standards cover areas such as governance, workforce development, patient engagement, and inclusive service delivery. Currently, the only two organisations authorised to conduct an independent assessment are:
The Six Standards of Rainbow Tick Accreditation
For an organisation to meet the requirements set out by Rainbow Health Australia, they must comply with the following six standards:
- Organisational Capability
The organisational capability standard assesses the healthcare organisation’s ability to develop and implement policies and procedures that support the needs of LGBTQIA+ staff and patients. This standard focuses on the healthcare organisation’s capacity to provide leadership and resources necessary to support the creation of an inclusive workplace culture.
2. Workforce Development
The workforce development standard focuses on ensuring that healthcare organisations have training and development programs in place that support the needs of LGBTQIA+ staff. This includes providing ongoing education and support to staff members on issues such as cultural competency and understanding the specific health needs of LGBTQIA+ patients.
3. Consumer Participation
The consumer participation standard requires healthcare organisations to actively engage with LGBTQIA+ patients to understand their unique needs and preferences. This includes creating welcoming environments, developing culturally appropriate services, and providing access to information and resources that support LGBTQIA+ health and wellbeing.
4. A Welcoming and Accessible Organisation
This standard assesses the healthcare organisation’s ability to create a physical environment that is welcoming and accessible to LGBTQIA+ patients and staff, ensuring signage, communication materials, and facilities are inclusive and gender-neutral. The organisation must also ensure an atmosphere of respect and sensitivity towards LGBTQIA+ patients, including the correct use of pronouns and terminology is created.
5. Disclosure and Documentation
The disclosure and documentation standard checks the healthcare organisation’s ability to collect and use data related to LGBTQIA+ patients and staff, as well as their ability to store this information in a way that respects patient privacy and confidentiality. To meet this standard, the organisation must prove that its patients feel safe revealing personal information such as their gender identity and sexual orientation. They must also have processes for disclosing this information to other healthcare providers or organisations, only with the patient’s explicit consent and in compliance with all other relevant laws and regulations.
6. Culturally Safe and Acceptable Services
To meet this standard, organisations must demonstrate policies and procedures that ensure the ability to provide culturally safe and acceptable services to LGBTQIA+ patients. This includes providing training and education to staff members on how to provide services to this marginalised community that are culturally appropriate and respectful of the patient’s gender identity and sexual orientation.
The Benefits of Rainbow Tick Accreditation
Achieving Rainbow Tick Accreditation is a significant achievement for healthcare organisations, as it demonstrates a commitment to creating a more inclusive and accepting workplace culture. It also provides assurance to patients from the LGBTQIA+ community that they will receive high-quality care that is sensitive to their unique needs and preferences.
Furthermore, Rainbow Tick Accreditation helps healthcare organisations meet national healthcare standards. These standards require healthcare providers to deliver high-quality care that is responsive to the needs of diverse communities. The Rainbow Tick Accreditation program provides a framework for healthcare organisations to achieve this by setting out clear standards and criteria that must be met.
By meeting the requirements of the six standards set out by Rainbow Health Australia, healthcare organisations can improve the quality of care and patient outcomes, reduce health disparities, and improve staff morale and productivity. It also ensures that healthcare organisations meet the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards which requires healthcare organisations to provide a safe and inclusive environment for all patients.
Leave a Reply