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Clinicians: Are You Asking the One Key Question?

Clinicians: Ask Your PatientsThe One Key Question® (OKQ) initiative arose from our determination to change the long-standing fragmentation of primary care and reproductive health  services.

Rates of unintended pregnancy remain at almost half nationwide and in Oregon.  Unintended pregnancies are known to have worse health outcomes both for mother and infant, as well as extensive social ramifications such as increasing family stressors, increasing the need for financial support programs, and increasing the risk for family violence.

In parallel with these concerns has been national momentum around the importance of preconception care.  More women who are choosing pregnancy are older, struggling with chronic medical conditions and taking medications regularly.

preconception care visit can optimize their chances of a healthy pregnancy by screening for conditions that adversely affect pregnancy and reducing toxic exposures to the infant.  Also, despite decades of high-quality evidence and several national initiatives, only about one-third of women take folic acid daily before conception to prevent major birth defects of the brain and spinal cord.

The OKQ Initiative encourages all primary care health teams to routinely ask women age 18-50 “Would you like to become pregnant in the next year?”  Women would then be offered the essential preventive reproductive health services based on her needs: folic acid supplementation, preconception care and contraceptive services.

If you are a primary care clinic provider that serves women of reproductive age, we encourage you to start asking One Key Question!

Please contact us to learn more: and look at our Resources page to see patient and provider educational materials

OFRH has had great success in working with a variety of settings to implement OKQ and we are prepared to offer technical assistance to make OKQ work in your practice setting. In return, we would like for you to share your stories of how implementing OKQ worked for you so that that we can build a clearinghouse of best practices and can improve our protocols.

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