Original Research Article| Volume 103, ISSUE 5, P336-341, May 2021

Clinic factors associated with utilization of a pregnancy-intention screening tool in community health centers



      Routine pregnancy-intention screening in the primary care setting is a promising practice to help patients achieve their reproductive goals. We aim to describe the utilization of a pregnancy-intention screening tool integrated in the electronic health record (EHR) of a national network of community health centers (CHCs) and identify clinic-level factors associated with tool use.

      Study design

      We conducted a clinic-level retrospective observational study to assess tool utilization during the first 3 years after the tool was made available in the EHR (November 2015 to October 2018). We describe characteristics of clinics with higher tool utilization (≥90th percentile) versus lower utilization (<90th percentile) and the types of providers who used the tool. We then employ negative binomial regression to identify independent clinic-level factors associated with tool utilization.


      Across 194 clinics in our study sample which served 289,754 eligible female patients, the tool was used for 113,116 (39%). Medical assistants performed 60.3% of screenings and clinicians performed 11.2%. CHCs with higher tool utilization rates were more likely to be located in rural settings (RR 1.75, 95% CI 1.07–2.87) and serve patient populations with higher proportions of women (RR 1.32, 95% CI 1.24–1.41) and lower proportions of patients with non-English language preference (RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.89–0.95).


      Many health centers utilized pregnancy-intention screening after an EHR-based tool was made available, though overall screening rates were low.


      Additional study of implementation strategies and effectiveness of pregnancy-intention screening tools is needed. Implementation of future pregnancy-intention screening interventions must be tailored to address clinic-level barriers and facilitators to screening.


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