Partnering with the health professions to promote prevention of an alcohol-exposed pregnancy: Lessons learned from an Academic–organizational collaborative
Background: Evidence-based strategies exist to train healthcare professionals to ask their patients and clients about alcohol use, and are successful. Implementation of these strategies utilizing a system-level approach has not been conducted nationwide. This case study reports on the success of academic partnerships with national health professional organizations to increase adoption of evidence-based strategies to prevent alcohol-exposed pregnancies. Methods: Authors reviewed and summarized multi-level strategies created as part of the developmental phase of this project in order to report successes and challenges. We applied the three principles of reflection, sense-making, and reciprocal learning, as identified in the practice change literature, to synthesize our experience. Results: There were five primary lessons learned as a result of this work: Development of technology-based training websites requires significant time to design, implement, and test; project ‘mission-drift' is inevitable, but not necessarily unwelcome; time and effort is required to create and sustain functioning workgroups when there are different organizational cultures; and changing real-world practice is hard to do, yet changing the conversation on screening and brief intervention is possible. Conclusions: Use of multi-level strategies within an academic–professional organization model was successful in promoting awareness and education of healthcare professionals in the prevention of alcohol-exposed pregnancies.
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