In a previous study of 204 transgender and gender diverse youth in our region, 44% reported being made to feel uncomfortable in the emergency department (ED) because of their gender identity. The objective of our study was to conduct a 2 year quality improvement project to increase affirmed name and pronoun documentation in the pediatric ED.
Using process mapping, we identified 5 key drivers and change ideas. The key driver diagram was updated as interventions were implemented over 3 Plan–Do–Study–Act cycles. Our primary outcome, the percentage of ED visits per month with pronouns documented, was plotted on a run chart with the goal of seeing a 50% increase in form completion from a baseline median of ∼14% over the 2 year study period.
The frequency of pronoun documentation increased from a baseline median of 13.8% to a median of 47.8%. The most significant increase in pronoun documentation occurred in Plan–Do–Study–Act cycle 3, immediately after ED-wide dissemination of a near-miss case and subsequent call for improvement by ED leadership. Roughly 1.7% of all encounters during the study period involved patients whose pronouns were discordant from the sex listed in their electronic health record.
This quality-improvement project increased the frequency of pronoun documentation in the ED. This has the potential to improve the quality of care provided to transgender and gender diverse youth in the ED setting and identify patients who may benefit from receiving a referral to a pediatric gender clinic for additional support.