Indian Trail woman says ‘lesbianism' listed as problem in medical history

INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. — An Indian Trail mother was shocked by a discovery she made on her medical history.

Kristina Rodriguez said that after she had blood work done by her medical service provider, Lake Park Family Practice of Carolinas Healthcare System, she saw “lesbianism" listed under medical problems on her medical history record.

Rodriguez showed the documents to Channel 9 on Tuesday, and her story has garnered national attention since.

“This listed as a medical problem could really set someone back, could mess with their self-esteem and could make them think something is wrong with them,” Rodriguez said. "I hope to bring change to where stuff like that is not disclosed on your medical record, because that's personal information.”

Rodriguez said her doctor and a director of Carolinas Healthcare System contacted her after she complained.

(Click PLAY to hear Rodriguez explain the situation)

In a statement Tuesday night, Carolina’s Healthcare System said, “This is not an appropriate clinical diagnosis, and we are actively investigating how this information was included."

They also said they system “strongly supports diversity and inclusion."

“I thought it was a great statement. It seemed sincere,” said Rodriguez.

She said a spokesperson also told her the label “Lesbianism” was to keep staff from referring to her partner as a “husband,” but Rodriguez said that was unnecessary.

“That's not offensive, that's normal,” she said. “It's 2017. It's very normal for people to have a same-sex partner.”

On Wednesday, other patients Channel 9 spoke with said they believed it was a simple mistake.

"I just think that it was a mishap,” said Leigh Ann Litton.

Rodriguez and other patients said that if labeling someone’s sexual orientation is necessary, the way it is done should change.

"I would agree they need to have a different protocol to handle things like that,” said Kendra Ledet.

Rodriguez doesn't want anyone to see a similar note and feel they're being unfairly judged.

“If that's an important thing to be listed, maybe put it in a different place, next to your race, your sex,” said Rodriguez.

Channel 9 asked CMC if this was part of their normal procedure and if anyone would be disciplined. The hospital issued this statement late Wednesday.

“Carolinas HealthCare System recognizes optimum care depends on strong relationships between doctors, care teams and patients. To that end, our physicians and care teams seek information to help them understand as much as possible about patients, their families, and their lives to treat them holistically. Health care providers everywhere are working to better understand the best way to include information in the most sensitive and respectful way to each patient. Like other providers, we are continuously working to improve our process and have work underway to enhance our efforts to appropriately collect patient information in accordance with  industry best practices guided by the Human Rights Campaign.” 

“Sexual orientation is not a clinical diagnosis and we will be working closely with our physicians and providers to ensure that information included in medical records is appropriate, respectful and consistent with our belief in the importance of diversity. We strongly support diversity and inclusion in all our interactions with patients, the public and our teammates, including creating an affirming environment for LGBT patients and their families.”

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