The increasing diversity of our patient population brings opportunities and challenges in delivering culturally competent care. To reduce health disparities, our organization continues to find ways to be culturally competent, which can improve patient outcomes and quality of care. Cultural competence is the ability for clinicians and organizations to understand and effectively deliver health care services that meet social, cultural, and linguistic needs of the patient and family. Seattle Children’s has taken steps towards closing the gap for patient gender identity and cultural concerns.

As part of the transition process, some transgender patients legally change their sex markers while others do not. There has been confusion for clinicians on how to best identify gender needs within the EMR, which has caused clinical care issues. To provide a more welcoming and trusting environment, in CIS, all patient headers will display Legal Sex, Birth Sex, and patient Pronouns. These new identifiers will help clinicians effectively communicate with patients, offering a more positive healthcare experience.

Within our practice, we have been aware of cultural and religious concerns patients and families might have around pork and pork products. However, there has not been a good way to identify these needs within the patient’s EHR. We can now make this concern more visible to the care team by adding a problem to the patient’s Problem List in CIS. This will provide awareness to the provider to have a discussion with the family about recommended medications that are derived from pork; and if there are no reasonable non-pork derived alternatives for treatment.

We continue our approach to work within an EHR that aims to deliver optimal clinical care for patients and families. By providing a welcoming and supportive care environment at Seattle Children’s, we can all play a role in creating a positive healthcare experience for our diverse patient populations.


For additional guidance, take the Caring for Transgender Patients module in Learning Center or view the Caring for Transgender Patients on CHILD.