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Table 3 Provider identification, recruitment, and engagement strategies

From: Lessons learned from Integrated Management Program Advancing Community Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (IMPACT-AF): a pragmatic clinical trial of computerized decision support in primary care

Strategies with positive impact

Identified a well-respected provider champion to sit on the project’s Executive Committee in order to provide real-world suggestions and guidance

Retrieved an electronic copy of the provincial provider list from the College of Physicians and Surgeons (mailing address, telephone and fax numbers)

Conducted a needs assessment to better understand provider challenges with AF management and use of/interest in CDS tools

Applied for and secured approval of continuing professional development credits for participating providers

Conducted small group virtual (webinar, teleconference) education sessions

Conducted site visits to providers’ offices, dropping information in-person to front office staff in order to create a “friendly face” and get to know the names of clinic staff for future communications

Conducted clinic-level lunch and learns to explain the study concept and design; over time, messaging was tailored to be more pragmatic about the benefits of participation for the provider

Utilized peer colleague referrals (e.g., first provider within a clinic to invite their colleagues to participate)

Offered some limited remuneration for non-accredited study activities in recognition of providers’ time

Created a study website, including the ability for providers to register for a webinar event and view news/media articles about the study and investigator team/study office staff

Encouraged interested community members (potential study patients) to discuss participation with their provider

Contacted providers of those patients who called the study office wanting to participate [providers not enrolled at the time]

Strategies with little to no impact

Set-up information booths at academic conferences with promotional materials (brochure/frequently asked questions)

Faxed all providers study information (initial invitation to all Nova Scotia providers and ongoing fax communications for recruited providers)

Conducted local, community-based accredited education sessions to explain the study concept and design, coordinating events where possible with community-based continuing medical education leads

Mailed information brochures to all providers

Sent personalized communications (telephone, fax) from the lead researchers to PCPs they knew, inviting them to participate in the study

Published communications in provincial physicians’ associations magazines and eNewsletters

Utilized social media channels (Twitter, Facebook) to increase awareness

Sent a communication to community-based specialist leaders to ensure they were informed about the study

Strategies with negative impact

Frequent follow-up telephone calls with PCP offices