‘Alosa’ is not an Indian goddess or a Hawaiian greeting. It is the genus of fish that swim upstream, like salmon or herring or shad. We chose this name when Alosa Health was founded in 2004 because as the first free-standing academic detailing program in the country, we felt our programs were ‘swimming upstream’ against a torrent of promotional material and new journal articles and guidelines, a kind of informational fire hose from which doctors were trying to drink. Our logo was inspired by the heroic salmon leaping out of the water as it battles its way up the river to spawn. (It’s no coincidence that it’s a “greater than” sign trying to fight its way against the flow of a host of “less than” signs.) As our work has progressed, we’re embracing another kind of upstream thinking: helping practitioners to address patients’ needs before they manifest as heart disease, stroke, hip fracture, or a drug side effect – by providing the best information available on making the clinical decisions most likely to prevent these downstream disasters from occurring.
Alosa Health is a national leader in developing and implementing academic detailing programs to improve prescribing. At our core, we believe that medical decisions should be based on unbiased, evidence-based information. Our mission is to improve patient outcomes by identifying and disseminating the best evidence available, to support health care professionals in providing optimal care to their patients.
Alosa Health’s founder and chief clinical consultant, Dr. Jerry Avorn, pioneered the concept of academic detailing as a way to optimize the prescribing practices of primary care physicians. Over the past decade, we have refined this innovative information delivery method and partnered with state governments, federal agencies, and private organizations to create academic detailing programs and training events. Our programs have expanded beyond prescription drugs to include non-drug therapies and diagnostics as well.
The largest program of Alosa Health is the Independent Drug Information Service (IDIS), the leading state-supported academic detailing program in the country. Our team of medical school physicians has developed a comprehensive portfolio of clinical education materials that provide unbiased information and expert guidance on managing common health problems. The educational module topics are all relevant to primary care, such as type 2 diabetes, chronic pain, and congestive heart failure. Each educational module is written for healthcare professionals and includes a comprehensive literature review, prescriber educational materials, and patient education aids, which are updated regularly. This program is supported by the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly (PACE) program of the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, the Vermont Health Care Association, and the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living.
With the implementation of health care reform and the move towards more managed care, Alosa Health is uniquely qualified to assist health care organizations, agencies, and networks in meeting new requirements for cost-effective care and improved clinical outcomes. Studies show that academic detailing, when done correctly, can reduce overall health care costs by decreasing inappropriate prescribing and empowering physicians to make evidence-based medical decisions.