Telehealth and LGBTQIA+ Communities Toolkit

Telehealth and LGBTQIA+ Communities Toolkit

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has become an essential way to provide patient care and services with underserved communities, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and all sexually and gender diverse (LGBTQIA+) people. By 2021, 95% of health centers had used telehealth (audio or video) to deliver medical care and 90% of health centers had used telehealth to deliver behavioral health services. The following Telehealth and LGTBQIA+ Communities Toolkit offers a curated list of resources to help begin or expand upon your organization’s telehealth program, with a special focus on supporting LGBTQIA+ communities.     

What Is Telehealth?  

Telehealth is the use of technology to provide health care services across two or more locations. Telehealth may be delivered through either synchronous methods (when patient care or education is given in real-time) or asynchronous methods (when information is stored electronically and can be accessed by the patient or provider at any time).   

Telehealth comes in various modalities:  

  • Telemedicine: direct patient care or education through video or phone   
  • mHealth: apps or text messaging on a phone or computer, often used for self-managing care or for communicating with a provider   
  • Store and forward information: the capturing, storing, and forwarding of health information from one site or provider to another  
  • Remote patient monitoring: to continuously monitor a patient’s condition from another location   

How Telehealth Helps LGBTQIA+ Communities 

Most medical schools do not provide sufficient education and training in LGBTQIA+ health care, making it difficult for patients to find and access health care that meets their needs and does not stigmatize their identities.1 By eliminating travel-related barriers, telehealth greatly expands access to providers with expertise in providing culturally affirming and knowledgeable LGBTQIA+ health care.   

New innovations in mHealth and remote patient monitoring have the potential to improve health outcomes for LGBTQIA+ patients who experience disparities in certain chronic diseases, such as HIV and diabetes.  

How to Use this Toolkit 

This toolkit is organized by topic area. You may start at the beginning or jump to a section that is relevant to you. Each section has resources, such as webinars, publications, and websites that are relevant to the topic area.  

When you click on a resource box, an explanation and link will pop up on your screen. To return to the toolkit, simply click anywhere on your screen. If you choose to access a resource, it will open in a new tab.   

Disclaimer 

This toolkit has external resources from reputable organizations with expertise in telehealth and LGBTQIA+ health. While we have linked to these resources, the National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center is not responsible for any content or advertisements that you may see on the resource page.  

This project was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under cooperative agreement number U30CS22742, Training and Technical Assistance National Cooperative Agreements (NCAs) for $449,985.00 with 0% of the total NCA project financed with non-federal sources. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. 

Questions and Feedback 

Questions or comments about the toolkit? Please email us at [email protected] or use the feedback form below. We will be happy to help you! 

Private: California Telehealth Resource Center—What is Telehealth?

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Private: Center for Connected Health Policy—Telehealth 101: What is Telehealth? Terms and Modalities

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LGBTQIA+ Glossary of Terms for Health Care Teams

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Foundations of LGBTQIA+ Health, Part 1

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Affirmative Services for Transgender and Gender Diverse People – Best Practices for Frontline Health Care Staff

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Learning to Address Implicit Bias Towards LGBTQ Patients: Case Scenarios

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Private: National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers

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Private: Health Center Resource Clearinghouse—Telehealth Learning Bundle

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Private: FQHC Telehealth Consortium Telehealth Playbook

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Private: Center for Care Innovations Telehealth Improvement Community Fund

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Private: Department of Health and Human Services—Telehealth Resources for Providers

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Private: Health Information Technology, Evaluation, and Quality Center (HITEQ): Telehealth & Telemedicine Resources

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Private: National Telehealth Technology Assessment Resource Center

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Private: Medicaid & CHIP Telehealth Toolkit

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Private: Department of Health and Human Services – Telehealth for LGBTQ+ Patients

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Private: LGBT Tech

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Private: Affirming Health Care for LGBTQIA+ People during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Private: Working with Transgender and Gender Diverse (TGD) Youth during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Private: American Academy of Pediatrics–Unique Considerations When Caring for LGBTQ+ Adolescents via Telehealth<

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Private: Behavioral Health Care for LGBTQIA+ Patients during COVID-19

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Private: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) —Telehealth for the Treatment of Serious Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders

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Private: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—Telehealth for HIV Prevention and Care Services

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Private: Department of Health and Human Services—Telehealth for HIV Care Best Practice Guide [website] 

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Private: Telehealth and Prep HIV Care Outcomes[webinar] 

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Private: TelePrep and Tele STI Care  [webinar] 

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Private: National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers—Assessing Clinical Service Needs: Telehealth Readines [webinar]

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Private: California Telehealth Resource Center—Telehealth Technology Needs and Readiness Assessment [publication] 

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Private: Health Information Technology, Evaluation, and Quality Center (HITEQ): Telehealth & Telemedicine Resources

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