3. Patient Engagement

Chapter Summary

Community members, including SGM patients, their families, and their allies, have important insights to share in terms of what policies and practices at the clinic are working well, which could be working better, and what is needed to best support SGM competent care.

There are many ways to engage SGM people in organizational change efforts. For example, clinics can recruit SGM people to participate in governance bodies or advisory boards, invite them to share stories about getting and receiving care, and involve them in interviews and surveys to solicit their insights into improving primary care for SGM people.

Clinics can prioritize outreach and support for SGM people in many ways. For example, clinics can encourage relationship building with community coalitions and organizations focused on SGM people, take part in SGM events, advertise their services, offer help from an ombudsperson or liaison, and support public policies to reduce SGM health disparities.  

Included in this Chapter: An overview of the “why’s” and “how’s” of involving SGM people in the clinic’s efforts to improve care, including a template for identifying and reaching out to community partners.