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Am J Prev Med. 2012 Jun;42(6 Suppl 2):S122-34. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.03.014.

Public health detailing of primary care providers: New York City's experience, 2003-2010.

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Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, New York 11101, USA.



Given evidence of widespread underuse of recommended clinical preventive services and chronic disease management, New York City developed the Public Health Detailing Program, a primary care provider outreach initiative to increase uptake of best practices on public health priorities.


The goal of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Public Health Detailing Program in helping primary care providers and their staff to improve patient care on public health challenges.


An analysis was conducted of reported changes in clinical practice or behavior by examining providers' retention and implementation of recommendations for campaigns.


During each campaign, 170 to 443 providers and 136 to 221 sites were reached. Among providers who responded to questions on changes in their practice behavior, the following significant increases occurred from baseline to follow-up. Screening for clinical preventive services increased, including routinely screening for intimate partner violence (14%-42%). Clinical management increased, such as prescribing longer-lasting supplies of medicine (29%-42%). Lifestyle modification and behavior change, such as recommending increased physical activity to patients with high cholesterol levels, rose from 52% to 73%. Self-management goal-setting with patients increased, such as using a clinical checkbook to track hemoglobin HbA1c goals (28% to 43%).


Data suggest that public health detailing can be effective for linking public health agencies and their recommendations to providers and influencing changes in clinical practice behavior.

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