Using Learning Collaboratives to Increase Access to Contraception to Achieve the Healthy People 2020 Goal for Contraceptive Use

For over thirty-five years, JSI has supported family planning providers around the US to reduce teen and unplanned pregnancies, support optimal birth spacing, lower the rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STD), and improve birth outcomes.

Most recently, JSI worked with 12 publicly funded family planning sites to increase access to most and moderately effective methods of contraception* at these sites. This was accomplished through an eight-month national learning collaborative that included monthly online learning sessions. effective-methods-of-contraception

The goal of the collaborative was to foster peer-to-peer learning and support to increase access, uptake, and continuation of the most effective and moderately effective methods of contraception among patients who could become pregnant, but wish to avoid pregnancy at the time. The ultimate goal was to ensure that all patients, regardless of life circumstances or ability to pay, can make informed choices about their reproductive health based on accurate information and have access to the full range of contraceptive methods.  

The learning collaborative focused on strengthening participants’ quality improvement practices and implementing strategies related to four best practices:

  1. Stock and dispense a broad range of contraceptive methods, including all provider-dependent FDA-approved contraceptive methods.
  2. Discuss pregnancy intention and support patients through evidence-informed, patient-centered counseling.
  3. Develop systems for the option of same-day initiation of all contraceptive methods. 
  4. Utilize diverse payment options to reduce cost as a barrier for the facility and the patient.

The percent of female patients using a most or moderately effective method of contraception increased from 70% to 79% among participating sites from October 2015 to May 2016.

JSI also observed increased access to highly effective, long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods resulting from a few key strategies:  cdc-initiative

  1. Offering a broad range of methods on site,
  2. Offering same-visit provision of LARC for patients  who desire it, and
  3. Training all staff to use a patient-centered, shared-decision-making approach to contraceptive counseling.

The learning collaborative emphasized that services should be provided on a purely voluntary basis and that patients should not be coerced to use, or not use, any particular contraceptive methods.

Coinciding with increased access, nine of twelve teams observed increases in the percent of women choosing to use LARC methods. The group average percentage increased from 9.6% to 12.9%.

JSI is proud of our work supporting service providers who are breaking down barriers to health care and helping patients achieve their reproductive goals. In September 2016, JSI was chosen to serve as the Family Planning National Training Center for the Title X Family Planning Program, a project awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Population Affairs. Through the Training Center, as well as our current work with Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Quality Improvement Network for Contraceptive Access project, we continue our partnership with family planning clinics around US.

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