Preconception Health

About 50% of all pregnancies are unplanned. Waiting until pregnancy may be too late to prevent fetal exposure to risk factors. If we shift our attention to preconception health (PCH) and help identify, manage or reduce these risk factors we can improve reproductive, maternal and child health outcomes. To address this issue, Public Health developed an innovative and evidence-based PCH risk assessment tool for use in the primary care setting called Preconception Health Risk Assessment Tool (PreCHAT).

PreCHAT tool

  • A patient-facing, comprehensive, digital health tool for all individuals of reproductive age (menses to menopause) regardless of pregnancy intention.
  • Completed by patients independently on a table tor via email prior to a patient’s appointment with a primary care provider. Asks 33 questions assessing 135 PCH risks across 14 domains of PCH care. Takes about 10 minutes to complete.

PreCHAT Intervention Model

This is an illustration of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health’s preconception health intervention model. Individuals of reproductive age are at the core of the model as this intervention aims to improve the health status of individuals well before pregnancy for optimal maternal and child health outcomes. Primary care providers wrap around as the providers delivering the 3-step intervention model in the primary care setting. Public Health supports PreCHAT by collaborating with primary care and facilitating research, evaluation and surveillance.

Preconception Health esnapshot model


How PreCHAT works

STEP 1. Patients complete PreCHAT on a secure tablet prior to their appointment with a PCP and prioritize three risk factors for discussion based on their results; this may be completed in the waiting area or via secure email at home,  

STEP 2. PreCHAT results automatically integrate with a patient’s electronic medical record (EMR), facilitating a discussion with the PCP during the appointment; and  

STEP 3. A customized handout is generated by the EMR with patient-specific results and health messages; available for clinics to print or email patients. Messages are organized by headers: “Why does it matter now?” and “Why does it matter for pregnancy?”.  

PreCHAT Publications

Validating PreCHAT: A Digital Preconception Health Risk Assessment Tool to Improve Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health published with SAGE Publishing and Canadian Journal of Nursing Research.

Preconception Care: A Technology-Based Model for Delivery in the Primary Care Setting Supported by Public Health in the Maternal and Child Health Journal. 

PreCHAT Videos

NEW Promotional Video 2022

Pilot Study Video. (Note: PreCHAT was formerly named My Health eSnapshot)

PreCHAT Posters and Reports

PreCHAT: Preconception Health Assessment Tool

My Health eSnapshot: Final Report