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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Closed-loop Electronic Referral to SmokefreeTXT for Smoking Cessation Support: a Demonstration Proje

Thursday, June 20, 2019  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
McCarthy DE, Adsit RT, Zehner ME, Mahr TA, Skora AD, Kim N, Baker TB, Fiore MC.
Closed-loop Electronic Referral to SmokefreeTXT for Smoking Cessation Support: a Demonstration Project in Outpatient Care.
Transl Behav Med. 2019 Jun 7. pii: ibz072. doi: 10.1093/tbm/ibz072. [Epub ahead of print]
Too few smokers who present for outpatient healthcare receive evidence-based interventions to stop smoking. Referral to nationally available smoking cessation support may enhance tobacco intervention reach during healthcare visits. This study evaluated the feasibility of outpatient electronic health record (EHR)-enabled, closed-loop referral (eReferral) to SmokefreeTXT, a National Cancer Institute text message smoking cessation program. SmokefreeTXT eReferral for adult patients who smoke was implemented in a family medicine clinic and an allergy and asthma clinic in an integrated Midwestern healthcare system. Interoperable, HIPAA-compliant eReferral returned referral outcomes to the EHR. In Phase 1 of implementation, clinicians were responsible for eReferral; in Phase 2 this responsibility shifted to Medical Assistants and/or nurses. EHR data were extracted to compute eReferral rates among adult smokers and compare demographics among those eReferred versus not referred. SmokefreeTXT data were used to compute SmokefreeTXT enrollment rates among those eReferred. Descriptive analyses of clinic staff surveys assessed implementation context and staff attitudes toward and adaptations of eReferral processes. During clinician implementation, 43 of 299 adult smokers (14.4%) were eReferred. During medical assistant (MA) implementation, 36 of 401 adult smokers (9.0%) were eReferred. Overall, among those eReferred, 25.7% completed SmokefreeTXT enrollment (3.1% of patients eligible for eReferral). Staff survey responses indicated that eReferral was efficient and easy. eReferral rates and relevant attitudes varied meaningfully by clinic. Thus, interoperable eReferral via outpatient EHR to SmokefreeTXT is feasible and acceptable to clinic staff and enrolls roughly 3.0% of smokers. Clinic context and implementation approach may influence reach.

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