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Use of Public Health Detailing to Improve Provider Practice in the Clinical Management of Syphilis

Background: Throughout history, syphilis has been a challenge to manage and control until the invention of penicillin in 1943 was available. Even with effective treatment, the diagnosis and clinical management of syphilis remains a challenge for providers. Purpose: The purpose of this project was to increase provider knowledge of evidence-based practice in the clinical management of syphilis, using public health detailing, to decrease inadequate and delayed identification and treatment of syphilis. Methods: Providers from a federally qualified health center (FQHC) participated in one public health detailing visit during March of 2021. Each provider completed a Provider Practice Assessment, which looked at their knowledge, practice, and attitudes in the clinical management of syphilis. Creation of an evidence-based Syphilis Pocket Guide was utilized to promote knowledge translation. Quantitative data was entered into Microsoft Excel and analyzed using descriptive statistics, such as frequency and percentages. Results: A total of five providers participated in the public health detailing visit and completed the Provider Practice Assessment. The results are consistent with the claim that providers encounter challenges when managing patients with syphilis, with over 40% of providers self-rating their knowledge of syphilis staging as either fair or poor. Conclusion: Positive reception and feedback of the public health detailing visits suggests they are successful strategies to providing useful evidence-based practice education. Future recommendations include a more robust, edited Provider Practice Assessment, a larger provider participant population, and ongoing evaluation. Keywords: syphilis, clinical management, provider practice, public health detailing