I signed on to my doctor’s website to schedule an appointment. The practice is owned by one of the two university health systems in town, so the corporate bureaucracy is heavy on the site. On the page with my profile information, they had additional field that had recently been added. Gender identity, legal gender, gender at birth and sexual orientation. And they had many choices – and the right ones – in the drop downs for these fields. I was impressed with their sensitivity to these gender issues, which certainly impacts medical care. I reluctantly entered in my information – male, male, male, straight – and finished scheduling my appointment. As I said, I was impressed.
Until I received my email confirmation. They just went through all the trouble of collecting my gender identity information and sent me an email addressed to Mr./Ms. Jeffrey Cohen. It was appalling that they couldn’t figure out how to address me in the email. Yes, there may be simple technical hurdles to get this right, but this is about identity and people need to feel comfortable discussing this in a medical environment. They went to the trouble to build the hard part, but they ignored the final step and didn’t tie it all together. Every touchpoint has to build that trust and comfort.