Design matters: sex and gender terminology concepts

Design matters: sex and gender terminology concepts

Quality health information, guided by appropriately specified standards, is essential for creating the conditions for health equity in the digital age. That’s why CHIMA, in partnership and collaboration with health organizations such as Canada Health Infoway, is engaged in a terminology standards community.

There are efforts taking place within both a Sex and Gender Working Group and an active HL7 Gender Harmony Project.

This community of technical, administrative, and content experts is working to ensure that terminology standards align with the needs of Canadians, and that safety and quality in health care includes safety and quality of care for people of sexual and gender diversity.

The Sex and Gender Working Group
 is designed to implement strategies to modernize sex and gender information practices in EHR systems in Canada. They meet on the second Tuesday of every month from 12:00 pm–1:00 pm EST. This group is open and encourages members who are interested in this innovative work to join the community discussions.

The HL7 Gender Harmony Project began as a way to capture the ideas encompassed by ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ within health models. The webpage states, “We expect that once completed, the set of use-contexts, currently called sex-gender types, can be used to clarify that certain existing model implementations actually intend users to assume one sex or gender entry actually represents multiple distinct sex-gender types that can in fact have different values that use the same code”. Project meetings are held once every two weeks on Monday’s at 4:00 pm EST and are open to members who would like to lend their experience, opinions, or just listen in.  

Should you have any questions about the terminology standards community, please feel free to contact [email protected].

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