Signed, sealed, delivered: Patient experiences of innovative telehealth medication abortion services at Cedar River clinics
Abortion
Awarded 2021
Innovations in medication abortion service delivery
Emily Godfrey, MD, MPH
University of Washington
$100,000

We request this Society of Family Planning research funding to address two of SFPRF’s priorities in generating evidence for novel abortion services: (1) to what extent does medication abortion with telemedicine shift abortion access for specific US patient populations and geographies? and (2) what are best practices in patient-provider communications related to improving telemedicine service delivery? For this project, we partner with Washington State’s Cedar River Clinics (CRC) that have successfully initiated no-test telemedicine abortion and mifepristone-by-mail since April 2020. To date, they have provided an unprecedented 200 telemedicine abortions and continue to offer this service. Our multidisciplinary team (called the Access Delivered team) of clinicians and quantitative, qualitative, and geographical-mapping data analysts will use de-identified patient data to compare demographics, pregnancy-related characteristics, geographic locations and travel time of those who received abortion care before and during the pandemic. We will interview 30 patients who sought medication abortion services during the pandemic to collect patient perspectives on provider-patient communication, quality patient-facing educational materials and best practices for ensuring patient satisfaction. We will engage WA State community members and national advocates to inform our research and disseminate our findings to WA State communities and national networks. This research will provide “real-world” scientific evidence regarding the safety of abortion by telemedicine here in the US and will contribute to the peer-reviewed literature and the Access, Delivered Toolkit for Providers Offering Medication Abortion, which is a practical implementation guide intended to hasten the initiation of telemedicine abortion services in clinics across the country.

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