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Comparison of naloxone prescribing patterns due to educational outreach conducted by full-time and part-time academic detailers at the U.S. Veterans Health Administration.
Bounthavong M, Harvey MA, Kay CL, Lau MK, Wells DL, Himstreet JE, Popish SJ, Oliva EM, Christopher MLD. Comparison of naloxone prescribing patterns due to educational outreach conducted by full-time and part-time academic detailers at the U.S. Veterans Health Administration. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association : JAPhA. 2020 Jul 1; 60(4):639-646.
To examine the impact of full-time equivalent employee (FTEE) allocation to academic detailers on naloxone prescribing at the U.S. Veterans Health Administration (VA).
Longitudinal nonequivalent control group posttest-only design using a random effects model.
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:
Closed cohort of primary care providers exposed to academic detailing between September 1, 2016, and September 20, 2018, at VA.
Previous analysis identified a cutoff of 0.40 FTEE was associated with a greater return on investment. We evaluated whether this level of FTEE allocation was associated with increases in naloxone prescribing rates and compared providers who had an interaction with an academic detailer allocated 0.4 FTEE or greater (high FTEE) to providers who interacted with an academic detailer allocated less than 0.4 FTEE (low FTEE).
Among VA primary care providers who received academic detailing, 1770 (68%) had interactions with a high FTEE academic detailer. There were no differences in demographics between providers who interacted with high FTEE and low FTEE academic detailers except for the distribution of provider classes (P = 0.004) and geographic districts (P < 0.001). Providers who interacted with high FTEE academic detailers had a greater average monthly number of naloxone prescriptions prescribed compared with low FTEE academic detailers (0.60 vs. 0.53; P = 0.005). In the random effects model, there was a 65% greater increase in the average monthly number of naloxone prescriptions prescribed among providers who interacted with a high FTEE academic detailer compared with providers who interacted with low FTEE academic detailers (P = 0.027). We also observed a dose-dependent relationship between the number of naloxone prescribed and the amount of FTEE allocated.
This observational study highlights the potential benefits (e.g., increased naloxone prescribing) of academic detailers having more FTEE allocated. Hence, implementation of academic detailing needs to consider the amount of dedicated time for academic detailers, given competing VA priorities.