Twelve-month prescribing of contraceptive pill, patch, and ring before and after a standardized electronic medical record order change

Suji Uhm, Melissa J. Chen, Erika D. Cutler, Mitchell D. Creinin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the proportion of 12-month contraceptive pill, patch, and ring prescriptions before and after an institution-wide change of default electronic medical record facility orders to dispensing 12-month supply. Study design: This retrospective pre-post study compares outpatient contraception prescriptions from August 10, 2019 through April 9, 2020 obtained from our institutional electronic medical record prescription database. On December 10, 2019, we facilitated a change in the default orders for dispensing self-administered hormonal contraceptives from one-month to 12-months. We evaluated the primary outcome of 12-month supply prescriptions during the four months before and after the change. We also compared 12-month supply prescriptions for pills, patch, and ring by prescriber specialty and location. Results: The dataset included 4897 distinct evaluable prescriptions for the pill, patch, or ring, with an overall increase in 12-month prescriptions from 260/2437 (10.7%) to 669/2460 (27.2%) after the order change (p < 0.001). Twelve-month pill prescriptions increased from 238/2250 (10.6%) to 607/2250 (27.0%) (p < 0.001), patch prescriptions from 6/40 (15.0%) to 21/44 (47.7%) (p = 0.002), and ring prescriptions from 16/147 (10.9%) to 41/165 (24.8%) (p = 0.001). Twelve-month prescriptions increased after the order change among all provider types at the medical center campus (194/594 [32.7%] to 329/623 [52.8%], p < 0.001). At community clinics, non-obstetrics/gynecology providers increased 12-month prescriptions after the order change (58/1616 [3.6%] to 327/1612 [20.3%], p < 0.001), but obstetrics/gynecology providers did not (8/227 [3.5%] to 13/225 [5.8%], p = 0.27). Conclusion: Providers more frequently prescribed a 12-month supply of contraceptive pills, patches, and rings after a change in the default dispensing quantity in electronic medical record orders. Implications: Institution-wide changes to the electronic medical record default facility order settings can increase 12-month supply contraceptive prescriptions. As a 12-month prescription order represents only one step of many in obtaining a 12-month contraception supply, additional research is required to elucidate and remove other potential barriers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Birth control
  • California legislation
  • Contraception
  • Electronic medical record
  • Extended supply
  • Prescription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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