Annual Conference, Off to Vegas for an HIV PrEP Training, & Our Team is Growing (and Hiring!)
A letter from the staff at NaRCAD
At NaRCAD, we're getting ready for our busy season, which lately, has become a season that lasts all year long. And we're happy for it--because that means we get to help more programs across the US and Canada figure out the most impactful ways to use academic detailing to promote sustainable change. Whether public health programs are looking to increase prescriptions of HIV PrEP for patients at high-risk, encourage more referrals to nutritionists for patients with diabetes, or improve access to treatment for people struggling with opioid use disorder, we're there to help them, from program conception to implementation and evaluation.
You may know that we offer bi-annual trainings here in Boston for health professionals to learn the techniques of academic detailing with our team of clinical outreach education experts through our 2-day, intensive, hands-on course. But did you know we also travel across the country to train teams on-site in their own communities? Through a partnership with the CDC, NACCHO, and previous funding from AHRQ, we've been on the road for countless successful trainings in early 2018, and we'll be wrapping up the year and heading into 2019 with a bang!
Our next stop is Las Vegas, to work with the Southern Nevada Health District on improving outcomes around HIV prevention this December. (And for once, we hope that "what happens in Vegas" doesn't "stay in Vegas"; our goal is to increase visibility and prescribing of HIV PrEP so that more clinicians everywhere are reaching the patients who need it most.)
Prior to December, we'll be busy here on our home turf for the fall, holding our now-full Fall Training on October 1 + 2, and our fantastic, annual international conference on AD on November 12 & 13. We hope you'll keep your eyes out for dates for our Spring 2019 Training (which will be announced by November!) and that you'll join us for our conference--this year is our 6th annual, and we're excited to announce our full agenda is live on our Conference Series page. Register today--space is limited for this event!
And visit our blog often--we'll be featuring new interviews this fall, showcasing best practices on topics like reducing polypharmacy, reducing opioid prescribing in rural counties, and increasing lung cancer screenings. Want to be featured? Contact us and tell us what you're working on! Our team is ready to custom-tailor our support, so we can offer you the best ideas, resources, and tools to help your program thrive.
We can't wait to see you this fall!
-The NaRCAD Home Team
(PS: Want to join our team as a Program Manager? Send us your resume & cover letter.)
Director’s Letter: Mike Fischer, MD, MS
The opioid crisis has been recognized as a major national public health problem, but it actually reflects a collection of many thousands of local crises playing out in individual cities and counties. Each region faces a distinctive set of challenges, driven by economic and social factors, local medical practice patterns, political environment and pressures, and many other considerations.
Identifying and implementing effective solutions to address the opioid crisis requires developing an understanding of how these individual challenges interact, and what strategies are most effective in specific situations--one of which is academic detailing.
The NaRCAD team is partnering with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and NACCHO (the National Association of City and County Health Officials) on an exciting pilot program working with local health officials to develop customized interventions to reduce opioid overdose and death. Four sites experiencing significant public health problems related to opioids were selected: Boone County, Kentucky; Bell County, West Virginia; Manchester, New Hampshire; and Dayton, Ohio.
Public health officials at each site identified a wide range of local stakeholders to participate in developing a community action plan and recruited trainees to complete NaRCAD’s academic detailing training course, which we customized to address the unique challenges that each community faces. We also developed a specialized online toolkit for these sites, including discussion boards, local resources, and printable resources.
We traveled to each site in March and April of this year, facilitating hands-on trainings in the techniques of academic detailing in alignment with the CDC prescribing guidelines. Trainees came from diverse backgrounds, including pharmacists, nurses, public health officials, and students in the health professions, including pharmacy students, dental students, and medical school students.
Plans for implementing AD varied by site depending on the local health care environment; some sites focused more heavily on appropriate prescribing of opioids by clinicians, while others prioritized increasing referral rates for patients with opioid use disorder (OUD), including access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
As the AD trainees at each pilot site continue their work in the field, we’ll learn more about how these diverse strategies succeed, and how we can support adaptations to make academic detailing more impactful. This important collaboration has allowed us to form invaluable partnerships with CDC and NACCHO, leveraging national resources to improve local responses to this epidemic through plans that respond more precisely to local needs and priorities.
We’re excited for this pilot program to serve as a model for future opioid safety AD interventions, and we’ll be providing updates here on the blog. In the meantime, tell us: what's happening in your local community around the opioid crisis? Sound off in the comments section below, and let us know if you think clinician-facing education could be a strategy that would improve outcomes for your community. And join us for our next training and our terrific annual conference to learn more about this and other exciting AD projects.
Michael Fischer, MD, MS | Director of NaRCAD
Dr. Fischer is a general internist, pharmacoepidemiologist, and health services researcher. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard and a clinically active primary care physician and educator at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. With extensive experience in designing and evaluating interventions to improve medication use, he has published numerous studies demonstrating potential gains from improved prescribing. Read more.
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