Not for industry only: medical students and office-based academic detailing the PIVOT (Pregnant women Influenza Vaccine Optimization Team) initiative
Academic detailing is a method of educational outreach that utilizes individualized encounters with physicians to broach specific medical issues in an evidence-based and quality-driven manner. Medical students utilized the matter of influenza vaccination during pregnancy as a lens through which to explore the methods of academic detailing in a community setting. Structured and customized dialogues between North Shore-LIJ affiliated obstetricians and Hofstra North Shore-LIJ medical students were conducted regarding the disparity between the proportion of providers that recommend the vaccine and the percentage of pregnant women being vaccinated annually. Ultimately the project aimed to increase vaccine-carrying rates throughout office based practices in the community, while establishing a viable method for up-to-date information exchange between practicing physicians and academic medicine. While the extent of affected change is currently being quantified, the project proved successful insofar as academic detailing allowed the students to gain access to physicians, and engage in compelling and educational conversations. Both the physicians and students felt these interactions were valuable and well worth continuing. The goal for the future is to expand these practices to other pressing public health issues while continuing to refine the technique.