One of the most powerful questions healthcare providers can ask their patients to help them achieve their family planning goals is also a simple one:
Do you plan to get pregnant or become a parent in the next year?
This pregnancy intention screening question (PISQ) allows patients to leave routine visits feeling empowered and armed with vital healthcare counseling, and, if appropriate, the contraceptive method of their choice.
Embedding the PISQ within a health provider’s system of care means that not only is the question being asked, but proper information-sharing, protocols, and patient-centered counseling are also standard practice.
Upstream’s work is about empowering providers to put in place the systems changes required to achieve best-in-class care in a way that is standard and ongoing — even during a global pandemic, the most challenging assault on the healthcare system we’ve seen in a hundred years.
The chart below shows us an important story about how we create sustainable practice change. After working with Upstream, one of our largest agency partners in Washington continued to increase the percentage of patients being asked the PISQ, even during the pandemic. They have changed how they provide healthcare in a way that will allow patients to leave routine visits with their contraceptive method of choice.
Washington Agency March 2019 – March 2021
% of patients asked a Pregnancy Intention Screening Question
Most healthcare providers are still lacking the systems to enable same-day access to all birth control methods, and the pandemic has made this inequity worse. In 2020, only 18% of OBGYNs offered all methods of contraception, and only 40% of these clinicians provided same day access for IUDs and implants.
At a time when we know many patients do not want to become pregnant, and there is a lack of care and access facing millions of patients across the country, we applaud our partners who continue to provide best in class contraceptive care through the pandemic.