What's Up in Family Medicine, ​April 2015

New Preconception Health Care Tool Supports Parental and Infant Health

“Family physicians play a key role in promoting preconception health to their patients. By seizing the opportunity to discuss and optimize medical health, psychosocial well-being and lifestyle behaviours that affect patients of reproductive age we may improve patients' health and the health of their future babies.”

- Dr. Deanna Telner, MD, MEd, CCFP, FCFP Clinical Lead

Interested in improving parental and infant health outcomes in your practice? The Preconception Health Care Tool is a new resource for primary care providers designed to help guide discussions about health and illness prevention strategies with all patients of reproductive age.

Dr. Deanna Telner, a family physician, assistant professor and clinician investigator with the University of Toronto’s Department of Family and Community Medicine, along with Toronto-based primary care nurse practitioner Rebekah Barrett, worked with Centre for Effective Practice staff to develop the Preconception Health Care Tool. This tool was developed using the Centre for Effective Practice’s integrated knowledge translation approach.

The tool is categorized in three primary care areas – prevention and promotion, screening and management – within 16 clinical areas. Providers are able to chart key pieces of clinical information over the course of multiple visits, and easily see what information has already been discussed or needs to be followed up on.

The tool also provides a list of links to evidence, best practice information and patient resources. These resources support conversations with patients about how lifestyle choices, chronic conditions and their treatments may affect infant and maternal health.

preconception tool graphic



“Improving health and nurturing a culture of wellness are both important to me, especially when it comes to our youngest Ontarians. It is great to know that women planning on getting pregnant can get help using the new Preconception Health Care Tool. This tool can help ensure the best start for infants and their new mothers while encouraging discussions on health promotion which is one of my priorities.”

-Dipika Damerla, Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (responsible for Long-Term Care and Wellness)


The Preconception Health Care Tool is the first tool to be released as part of a larger three-year initiative aimed to improve communication through the development and dissemination of evidence-based clinical tools and health information materials to primary care providers in Ontario. The OCFP is pleased to partner with the Centre for Effective Practice on this initiative, which is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Free Online Course on Infertility

Facts of Life: Infertility for the Primary Care Provider is an online accredited Mainpro-M1 course available through MacHealth and is designed to help  primary care providers improve their knowledge and skills around fertility awareness, preconception counselling and infertility issues.
Participants gain insight into discussing infertility with male and female patients, how to adopt an evidence-based, focused approach to their own practices, while learning about proper referral and appropriate treatment options.

Learn more.

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