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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Utilizing Clinical Support Staff and Electronic Health Records to Increase Tobacco Use Documentation

Tuesday, December 11, 2012  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Greenwood DA, Parise CA, Macaller TA, Hankins AI, Harms KR, Pratt LS, Olveda JE, Buss KA. J Vasc Nurs. 2012 Dec;30(4):107-11.

This study examined whether incorporation of a workflow in the electronic health record (EHR) that empowered medical assistants (MA) to become tobacco-cessation promoters, would increase tobacco documentation and referral for cessation counseling to quitlines. MAs in three primary care centers were trained to ask every patient, at every visit, about tobacco use then document this status in the EHR. Patients ready to quit were electronically referred to the quitline for tobacco cessation counseling. Documentation of tobacco status, ongoing verification of tobacco use, and chief complaint recording was compared before and after the intervention. Results showed that initial documentation and ongoing verification of tobacco use increased after implementation of the HER workflow. The authors conclude that documentation and referrals for smoking cessation can be increased in organizations using EHR by empowering MAs to promote tobacco cessation and providing electronic referral options.

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