The Human Rights Campaign Foundation released its annual Healthcare Equality Index ( HEI ), with some significant changes from last year.
For example, the Health and Aging Program team proactively researched hospitals that chose not to participate, numbering 640 facilities.
Another new feature of this year's HEI is a Google Maps lookup feature that allows people to search for HEI-rated facilities based on their location, making it even easier for people to find LGBT-inclusive care more quickly and easily.
Hospitals were evaluated on the bases of patient non-discrimination policies, visitation policies, employment non-discrimination policies and training in LGBT patient-centered care.
Illinois was designated to have 16 leaders in health care equality. Chicago entries included Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Howard Brown Health Center, Methodist Hospital of Chicago, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, University of Illinois Hospital and Jesse Brown VA Medical Center.
"Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality change the lives of LGBT patients and their families for the better each and every day," said HRC President Chad Griffin in a statement. "LGBT people should be treated equally in all aspects of our lives, and HRC celebrates Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for their tireless work to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all patients."
The HEI 2014 evaluates a total of 1507 health care facilities nationwide. Visit www.hrc.org/hei .