Representing Patient-Identified Sexual Orientation

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Type Standard Implementation/Specification Standards Process Maturity Implementation Maturity Adoption Level Federally required Cost Test Tool Availability
Standard for observations
Final
Feedback requested
Feedback Requested
No
Free
N/A
Standard for observation values
Final
Feedback requested
Feedback Requested
Yes
Free
N/A
Standard for observation values
Final
Production
Rating 3
Yes
Free
N/A
Limitations, Dependencies, and Preconditions for Consideration Applicable Value Set(s) and Starter Set(s)
  • Collect discrete structured data on patient gender identity, sex, and sexual orientation following recommendations issued in a report by The Fenway Institute and the Institute of Medicine.
  • See LOINC projects in the Interoperability Proving Ground. 
  • For more information about observations and observation values, see Appendix II for an informational resource developed by the Health IT Standards Committee. 
  • LOINC® code: 76690-7 Sexual orientation
  • ONC’s 2015 Edition certification requirements reference the following value set for sexual orientation.  Codes from (i) through (iii) are SNOMED CT® and (iv) through (vi) are from HL7 Version 3:

(i) Lesbian, gay or homosexual.38628009
(ii) Straight or heterosexual. 20430005
(iii) Bisexual. 42035005
(iv) Something else, please describe.nullFlavor OTH
(v) Don’t know. nullFlavor UNK
(vi) Choose not to disclose. nullFlavor ASKU

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We think that the Applicable Value Set(s) and Starter Set(s) provide appropriate answer options to measure sexual orientation. Knowledge of this information is essential to providing affirming culturally competent health care to lesbian, gay and bisexual patients.


Chris Grasso, MPH

Associate Vice President for Informatics and Data Services

Fenway Health