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Webinar Wednesday - Establishing pan-Canadian Gender, Sex and Sexual Orientation Standards

  • January 24, 2024
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Zoom


Registration is closed

In Canada, most health information systems are unable to capture gender, sex and sexual orientation data beyond a single sex or gender field. Consultations with the provinces and territories, as well as with major Hospital Information System (HIS) and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) vendors, revealed that there are no commonly agreed upon data standards for gender, sex and sexual orientation concepts. Data collection is therefore fragmented and incomplete and gender diverse individuals are largely invisible within the health care system, which subsequently impacts the quality of care that they receive, as well as their accurate representation within health system analytics.  

To address these challenges, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) is establishing the first pan-Canadian gender, sex and sexual orientation (GSSO) data standards that are fit for purpose across all health information needs, including clinical care, care organization operations, health system planning and population and public health. These standards are based on British Columbia’s Gender, Sex and Sexual Orientation Health Information Standard and align with those produced by Canadian and international partners, including Statistics Canada and Health Level 7 International (HL7). The implementation of these standards will be a transformative step towards building a more patient-centered, inclusive, and interoperable health care system for Canadians. 

Presented by: 

Shannon O’Connor is a Program Lead in Data Standards at the Canadian Institute for Health Information. She has over a decade of experience in digital health, health data analytics and data standards development, including in the areas of mental health, opioid-related harms and gender, sex and sexual orientation. Shannon is passionate about using data standards to help advance interoperability and developing standards that contribute to a safe, equitable and inclusive health care system. She is a member of the HL7 Canada Council and a co-chair of Canada Health Infoway’s Sex and Gender Working Group.  

Dan Simic is the Manager of the Health Information Standards unit with the Conformance, Integration & Standards team at the BC Ministry of Health.  Dan's current focus is around standards development, governance, and implementation and he gained experience in health care during his eighteen years at the ministry working in PharmaCare, and the Medical Services Plan, and recently in standards development at the clinical and administrative level. The GSSO standard represents an important step forward to how the health sector collects and uses gender and sex data, both to provide healthcare services and create policies for a more inclusive reflection of the diversity of people who live in British Columbia. 

Earn One Continuing Education Unit (CEU) for attending this webinar. Content from the webinar aligns with Core Health Informatics Topics: The Canadian Healthcare System, Information Technology, Analysis and Evaluation

Webinar Wednesday attendance is one of the benefits of Digital Health Canada Membership. Not a member yet? Join Digital Health Canada to enjoy Webinar Wednesdays and other benefits of membership. 


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