Meet our new patient education materials

Today, we’re thrilled to share Upstream’s latest program evolution with you: new patient education materials for digital and print.

We partnered with a human-centered design firm to help us conduct this work. Together, we researched, designed, and tested the materials with a diverse group of patients and healthcare teams from across the country. Our goal was to identify what mattered most to patients, providers, and staff and use that to create materials that were useful and patient-centered.

This is a major step forward in the support we offer to health centers. In-house materials allow us to create content that resonates with the communities our partners serve and can be translated into multiple languages. We can now be more innovative, creative, and flexible in our approach than ever before.

Upstream partners who have completed training can now access free, digital versions of the materials online in our Partner Portal website. Connect with your Upstream Team to discuss stocking printed versions or send us an email at info@upstream.org.

Check out the materials below:

Welcome Booklet

Upstream’s Welcome Booklet helps patients feel more prepared for their appointments by consolidating frequently asked questions, addressing myths and misconceptions, and providing a snapshot of all methods.

[The headline] ‘Dear birth control’ is fun, lighthearted. Almost like somebody that I know is talking to me. Puts me at ease with a topic…makes it feel okay.”

— Patient

Decision-Making Wheel

Upstream’s Decision-Making Wheel helps to facilitate patient-centered conversations by enabling patients and their healthcare teams to quickly compare methods. The wheel is organized by patients’ key considerations when it comes to choosing birth control such as potential benefits, effectiveness and potential bleeding changes.

“I didn’t know that I wanted a wheel until you showed me a wheel.”
— Dr. Karen Antell, Director of Maternity and Women’s Health Education, Family Medicine Residency Faculty Physician, Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency, Christiana Care Health System

Birth Control Postcards

Upstream’s Postcards provide information to help patients make decisions about their birth control. They can be used as self-guided learning materials or as a counseling tool.

Patient Webpage

Upstream’s patient webpage, upstream.org/birthcontrol, is a digital resource for patients looking to explore their birth control options. This mobile-friendly page helps patients make informed choices by filtering birth control methods based on side-effects, benefits, and bleeding changes. Users can click on an individual method to learn more.

We began this work pre-Covid, in a world that looked very different than the one we are living in today. Once it became clear that the effects of the pandemic meant long-term changes to how healthcare is delivered, we moved quickly to shift our testing with patients to virtual settings and expanded our offerings to include telehealth-friendly versions of the materials. Additionally, the resources we deliver to our partners come fully-laminated to ensure that they can be sanitized per new protocols.

We are grateful to our partners’ continued commitment to providing best-in-class contraceptive care and hope these new materials will help support that work, however healthcare is being delivered.

Learn more about the human-centered design process that we took to develop these materials

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