January 20 2019
BEND, Oregon – A hospital in central Oregon has made a small change that represented a huge difference for its transgender patients: It removed the gender designation from patient identification bracelets.
The Bulletin newspaper in Bend reports the St. Charles Health System adopted the change last month. The ID bracelet is designed to provide caregivers an easy way to identify patients based on two distinct identifiers.
"It was something that everybody felt had to be on there because it was always on there," said Rebecca Scrafford, a psychologist at St. Charles who was involved in recommending the change. "It's providing no benefit, but it's causing harm."
The ID bracelet is designed to provide caregivers an easy way to identify patients based on two distinct identifiers. But staff generally check the patient's name and date of birth, not gender.
Until recently, the hospital's record system did not distinguish between sex assigned at birth, legal gender and gender identity. The ID bracelet had been showing the patient's legal name and sex assigned at birth.