Academic detailing (AD) interventions have a large impact on AHRQ's stated mission of improving the quality, safety, effectiveness and efficiency of health care for patients. AD helps clinicians make more informed decisions that lead to better care. Although AD was developed in the 1980s (with funding from AHRQ's predecessor agency), there has never been a conference focusing on AD developments. The many AD programs around the country and the world have acted as isolated laboratories for the field, lacking a venue to share information, identify best practices, and form productive collaborations. A recurring conference would allow the sharing of knowledge and will help guide and improve the field within the evolving health care landscape. We propose to host conferences in the Fall of 2013, 2014 and 2015 called, "The Role of Academic Detailing in Health Care Improvement" to focus on enhancing the impact of AD on health care improvement initiatives.
The specific aims of these conferences are: 1. to disseminate developments in AD to the healthcare community, 2. to showcase best practices in AD to improve quality, 3. to define the role of AD in the evolution of the US healthcare system, and, 4. to expand and reinforce the international network of AD organizations. The conferences will feature presentations with ample time for discussion and breakout sessions;both session types will address the current state of knowledge, share best practices and identify emerging issues in the field. There will be topics each year that directly affect priority populations. Participants and speakers from the Year 1 conference will help decide the agendas for Years 2 &3 through evaluations and surveys. The conferences will be relevant to a wide variety of stakeholders who will be invited to participate, including public and private organizations using AD, Medicaid agencies, policymakers, public health agencies, academia, insurers, non-profits interested in health care improvement and consumers. The conferences will produce educational materials that will have value to the greater AD community in the US. The conference will be streamed live from Boston and all materials will be available online after the conference (presentation videos and PDFs). There has never been a meeting of AD organizations, either nationally or internationally, and a conference series will represent a critical step to strengthen AD practice. Ultimately, the sharing deliberations and trainings from these meetings will lead to practice changes for AD worldwide and will improve the readiness of the healthcare system to enact change.
Academic detailing, built on the techniques of social marketing, is a powerful and proven means of educational outreach to health care providers to change medical practice in order to make health care safer, more effective and of higher quality. The overarching goal of this recurring conference series is to foster ongoing communication, collaboration, and improvement among organizations and individuals running academic detailing programs worldwide, but especially in the United States. The conference attendees and speakers will share best practices and challenges in the field that will lead to the strengthening of academic detailing practice.