H3-participating practice streamlines patient enrollment in quit-smoking program

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Indiana's Tobacco QuitlineWorking with the Healthy Hearts in the Heartland (H3) research project, a Northern Indiana family practice has made small, but significant changes with the aim of preventing heart disease and stroke.

For the past year, H3 project facilitators from Purdue Healthcare Advisors have worked closely with Indiana practices to implement and evaluate quality improvement strategies for cardiovascular care. Since 20-percent of Indiana adults were tobacco users in 2015, and tobacco use significantly contributes to heart disease and stroke, the practice wanted to find a way to make it easier for patients to get the support they need to quit the habit.

First, the providers decided to join the Preferred Provider Network of the Indiana Tobacco Quitline, which is a free phone-based counseling service that helps Indiana smokers quit. Second, the practice was able to incorporate the Quitline’s participant form into its electronic health records (EHR) system. Now, patients who want to participate in the program have only to say yes. The EHR generates and completes patient information for the practice to forward to the Quitline.

“Statistics tells us that most Hoosiers who smoke want to quit, and practices are looking for ways to help them do it,” said Tamara Finn, PHA’s Managing Advisor for Quality Services and an H3 project facilitator. “Having the ability to automatically fill out and submit forms to a tobacco-cessation program may not seem like a huge timesaver, but the transition from thinking about quitting to planning to quit happens at the push of the button, leaving more time for meaningful patient-doctor discussion.”

In addition, becoming a “Preferred Provider” with the Quitline gives doctors status reports from their patient-participants, which then can be used for the documentation needed by some health plans to cover Prior Authorization needs for some Nicotine replacement therapy medications.

Writer: Jeanine Parsch, 765-337-7047, jeanine@purdue.edu

Writer: Tamara Finn, 574-303-4728, tamarafinn@purdue.edu

Tags: Quality Services

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