Posted By Natalia A. Gromov,
Monday, February 13, 2012
We are! We asked Ann Wendling, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Tobacco Cessation at Healthways,
Inc. and member of NAQC’s Advisory Council to do a little dreaming for us and
to describe a "gold-standard” or perfect quitline. Here is what she had to say:
"The following are attributes of the
"gold-standard” quitline, operated cost-effectively, but without funding
- The ideal quitline, a partnership of the
funder(s) and service provider, has a clear purpose, well–defined goals and
clear decision making processes.
- The quitline operates transparently as a flexible
learning organization. It seamlessly integrates other technological modalities
and implements forward thinking strategies to improve processes and outcomes,
while maintaining core evidence based services.
- To maximize reach and impact, funding is
available for the provision of free comprehensive services to all eligible
tobacco users, whether through public or private payers or various
- All tobacco users and health care providers
within the service area are aware of the quitline – through promotion, provider
outreach and fax referral or other modalities.
- Services are easily accessible, either reactively
through an easy to recall phone number, text or online registration, etc., or
proactively through timely outreach after referral to the quitline. Coaching is
available on first day of contact.
- Community (cultural) competency is a priority of
the quitline and services are provided in languages appropriate to the service
- Call center metrics meet or exceed industry
standards and incorporate specific funder goals. Coach staffing hours and
ratios are smartly forecasted and managed to optimize service and maximize
center efficiency. The center has the infrastructure and staff capacity to
handle surges resulting from promotions, policy implementation, etc.; and
conversely, to respond in a timely fashion to decreased volumes.
- Coaches are well trained, ideally in accordance
with ATTUD’s TTS recommended core competencies, and are experienced in applying
proven behavioral change theory. They have the opportunity for continuing
professional development and remain current on funder protocols.
- Protocols include a minimum of four coaching
calls, sensitively timed pre- and post- quit, with the option for the caller to
reactively contact the center at any time for additional support. NAQC’s MDS
intake and evaluation question sets are followed. (Note: NAQC’s FY10 survey
indicates that in the U.S.,
the median number of calls completed was 2.2 calls; in Canada, the
median was 3.7 calls.)
- All FDA approved NRT is available for the
recommended treatment duration through barrier-free direct mail split shipment
fulfillment. Provisions are in place for fulfillment to those with
contra-indicated conditions and for prescription meds through fax or electronic
communication with health care providers.
- Reporting on all MDS items, program utilization
and call center metrics is regularly provided to funders in a timely
fashion. The provider database allows
for specific funder queries.
- Ongoing evaluation examines reach and
marketing/promotion impact, call center metrics, coaching performance,
medication fulfillment, caller satisfaction and quit rates to inform continuous
- Quit rates meet or exceed industry standards and
callers express a high level of satisfaction with services.”
Thanks, Ann, for taking time out of your busy schedule to dream a bit!
Why don’t you do a little dreaming right now and tell us what you think makes a
perfect quitline? Do you have anything to add to Ann’s list of qualities?
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