QI initiative to improve utilization of centchroman: a non-steroidal contraceptive
Keywords:Oral contraceptive, Ormeloxifene, Quality improvement
Background: The nonsteroidal contraceptive centchroman is manufactured in India. It was included in family welfare programme in April 2016 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. However, national statistics indicated its low utilization at all levels of healthcare. Objective was to identify the reasons for underutilization of centchroman in the family planning clinic, and in the postpartum period, and to implement corrective measures to improve its utilization at a tertiary hospital.
Methods: The study was conducted in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at a tertiary care hospital from September 2019 to January 2022. A quality improvement action team was constituted to undertake root cause analysis. Important corrective factors were insufficient focused counselling for centchroman as contraceptive, insufficient sensitization of doctors and nurses, inconsistent supply of tablets, lack of clarity about side effects of centchroman among healthcare workers. Tablets were not readily available to postpartum women at home, which was also a contributing factor. There were the following changes implemented: sensitization of the healthcare workers, daily focused FP counselling of women in outpatient clinics and postnatal wards, and measures to ensure a continuous supply of tablets. At discharge, eligible postpartum women were given a three-month supply of tablets for ready access. ASHA (accredited social health activist) workers who are engaged in other governmental health initiatives were included in the loop to maintain contact and supply tablets to women initiated on centchroman.
Results: Contraceptive utilization increased from 0.5-0.7% at beginning of the study to 29% by incorporating the solutions. Failure of contraception occurred in one user. Pearl index for centchroman in our study was 0.22%.
Conclusions: Simple, practical solutions identified through quality improvement initiatives resulted in improved coverage and utilization of contraceptive. This study can be an important example for problem solving of challenges in low resource settings.
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