Contraceptive care is a vital aspect of many patients’ health, and yet accessing that care can be challenging. Limited availability of contraceptive providers, cultural stigmas, financial barriers, and coverage gaps all can contribute to a lack of adequate contraceptive care for those who need it most. To address these challenges, a Rapid-Access Contraception (RAC) visit type was established in Summer 2022, providing timely access to contraceptive care to patients in the University of Utah’s health system.
After just a few months operating, the visit type has shown excellent success. In January 2023 alone, the visit type was utilized by 124 unique patients, providing quality care through an innovative approach that focuses on efficiency and total care.
“[The Rapid Access to Contraception] initiative uses the unique ‘contracept’ visit type to offer rapid access to contraceptive services,” notes Erika Sullivan, MD, director of the RAC Clinic at Sugar House Family Practice and a family medicine physician. “It has greatly expanded access to all forms of contraceptive services to our community.” What makes the “contracept” visit type unique is that it allows patients who are only seeking contraceptive services a variety of providers to choose from at locations throughout the greater Salt Lake area, often on the same or following day from when the services are requested. This has dramatically reduced the wait time for patients receiving this necessary care.
Within Sugar House Family Practice, the RAC clinic has also improved the volumes of patients seen for procedural contraceptive services (so-called ‘long acting reversible contraception’ or LARC) that are managed by family medicine residents. This increased clinical exposure is crucial to training our primary care workforce to be able to manage the reproductive concerns of the populations they serve.
In addition to providing timely clinical services, the RAC visit type has also enjoyed positive feedback from the communities it serves, gaining positive attention from The Daily Utah Chronicle, KSL News, and local Fox affiliates.