By: Winnie Ho, Program Coordinator
2020 was a year of many hard-earned lessons. We’re so fortunate to have an AD community that’s committed to sharing best practices, tips, and experiences. This communal knowledge base is what makes us stronger and allows us to all grow together.
Here’s a collection of the great advice some of our DETAILS Best Practice Blog and Discussion Forum guests have given us this past year:
Tags: Detailing Visits, Evaluation, Program Management
Planning and Team Building:
"The most critical thing is to allow enough time for the planning process – ideally, 18 months before you’re looking to launch. This allows you to gather resources, make partnerships internally and externally. If you can reach out to colleagues in the field, learn about what are good mistakes to avoid. It’ll save you a lot of time!"
-Carla Foster, NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH)
"My best tip would be to create a standard operating procedure (SOP) or some type of guidebook for your visits. Our team developed an SOP which discusses how to conduct a needs assessment, conversational tips, how to weave in key messages, and how to address barriers. Developing the SOP really allowed me to understand the intricacies that need to be addressed before launching the campaign. It works as a such a good practice guide, and you can always refer back to it whenever you need it."
-Julie Anne Bell, NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH)
"One thing I’ve learned about AD is that it’s only as effective as your intervention across an entire system. Any work that I’m doing is irrelevant unless I’m addressing the culture of the entire system. If the front desk staff isn’t on board, or the clinical staff isn’t a believer, or the CEO doesn’t understand – there will be challenges that will be harder to overcome."
-Andrew Suchocki, Clackamas County, Oregon, Medical Director
"Building relationships with key stakeholders has made all the difference. They’ve helped me curate my detailing aids and key messages, and have even allowed me to practice my detailing sessions with them."
-Kelsey Bolton, Gundersen Health System, Wisconsin
"A strong team is an important part of a detailing campaign. Strong teamwork means supporting each other through tough detailing sessions, communicating well, and keeping a positive attitude. During virtual times, turning the camera on during staff meetings can also help keep the team spirit alive!"
-Marlys LeBras, RxFiles Academic Detailing Service in Saskatchewan, Canada
"There are numerous external pressures when it comes to AD, but the most important part is keeping the human aspect in check when reaching out to providers. We can get bogged down into the guide posts, the bench posts, or the numbers – but the COVID-19 era reminds us that it’s all about empathy."
-Tara Hensle, University of Illinois at Chicago/Illinois ADVANCE
"You may find it helpful to create an e-Detailing materials packet and see if you can grab some time with providers over a virtual platform. It can be a helpful foot-in-the-door for future in-person detailing!"
-Jess Alward, New Hampshire Division of Public Health, Dept. of Health and Human Services
"Lunch time is still the best time for visits. They were the most popular when I did it, and they’re still the most popular now, as my team tells me."
-Terryn Naumann, British Columbia Provincial Academic Detailing (BC PAD) Service
Conducting Field Visits:
"There’s a lot of listening that happens in AD. You might spend all this time learning about the topic before you meet the providers, but if you take the time to really listen to them, you might learn more than you came with. There is so much to learn from all the incredible people you meet in AD."
-Debra Rowett, Drug and Therapeutics Information Service (DATIS) in South Australia
"The big thing I’ve learned through networking with detailers is to be flexible and be prepared for any situation, especially in the virtual environment. You might have one idea of how your session will go, and it could go in the opposite direction, which is part of the charm of detailing. Also, practice mock detailing with your colleagues!"
-Vishal Kinkhabwala, Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services
"It’s important to have several different ways of presenting information to providers and to use varied approaches to barriers or objections that come up. I typically focus on emotional connection, financial concerns, and the evidence behind the key messages I’m delivering."
-Brandon Mizroch, Louisiana Dept. of Health
"No visit is ‘one-size-fits-all’. You need to consider the provider, their situation, and their environment and decide what will be the best way to deliver the evidence. It’s critical that you’re attentive to the provider you’re detailing and that you continue to focus on the needs assessment at all times."
-Mary Liz Doyle-Tadduni, Alosa Health in Pennsylvania
"I was delivering an in-person visit, and the skeptical questions about AD from the provider kept coming. I tried not to be defensive, but I answered everything I could. Eventually, the provider allowed me to get to the topic, and that changed everything! By the end of the visit, the opposition took an about-turn. I gained a professional friend and ally and ended up seeing this person with virtually every topic over the next 20 years. Never write someone off because of some seemingly extreme pushback – you just never know!"
-Loren Regier, Centre for Effective Practice (CEP) and Canadian Academic Detailing Collaboration (CADC)
"Confidence is key. You can study and practice everything with your team, but at some point you have to get out there and just do it! You have something valuable to offer and a few opportunities a year to capitalize on that value. A strong relationship can overcome a difference in clinical background or even a rough start. It just takes enough of your effort to show that you’re really there to be of service. Remember, you wouldn’t have been hired in this role if you weren’t qualified!"
-Amanda Kennedy, Vermont Academic Detailing Program
"When addressing stigma, it’s important to note that tough conversations can produce some cognitive dissonance in people. All providers are human. They care about their patients. What helps is not overwhelming them with data, but repeated snippets of information over time to help reinforce the message."
-Elisabeth Mock, Maine Independent Clinical Information Service (MICIS)
"Don’t be afraid to ask for a specific behavior change and remember to follow up to make sure that change occurs. The ‘ask’ can be hard for detailers, so I always tell them to frame it as, “based on what you’ve heard today, what is one thing you’d do differently?”
-Tony de Melo, Alosa Health in New England
Data Collection & Evaluation:
"We encourage providers to complete a post-visit survey. We ask them to share their level of agreement that they were given new/different information, and they intend to implement practice changes as a result of AD conversations."
-Jacki Travers, Pharmacy Management Consultants in Oklahoma
"It’s important to track a mix of quantitative and qualitative data, and the critical components that should be tracked are the outcomes and the process of detailing. Data is absolutely critical for getting leadership buy-in, especially if it can tell a story."
-Kristefer Stojanovski, San Francisco Dept. of Public Health
"Once you’ve identified the problem you’re addressing and done the work to understand it, jump in! AD works!"
-Jennifer Pruskowski, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Thank you to the AD community for your resilience, compassion, and incredible work through a tumultuous year. We hope the AD community continues to share its pearls of wisdom with us through the new year. We are excited by all the progress made in 2020, and look forward to a brighter 2021 with you all.
The NaRCAD Team
Highlighting Best Practices
We highlight what's working in clinical education through interviews, features, event recaps, and guest blogs, offering clinical educators the chance to share successes and lessons learned from around the country & beyond.