Increased evidence-based tobacco treatment through Oklahoma hospital system changes

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Background Oklahoma hospitals admit approximately 120,000 tobacco users each year, many for diseases resulting from tobacco use. Purpose To describe a unique partnership between the Oklahoma Hospital Association and Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust to reach more tobacco users through the implementation of sustainable health system changes within hospitals and clinics to integrate an evidence-based tobacco treatment protocol for all tobacco-using patients. Methods The Oklahoma Hospital Association tobacco-cessation model included (1) identifying all tobacco-using patients; (2) assessing addiction level and readiness to quit; (3) prescribing medications to manage withdrawal while in hospital; and (4) proactively faxing a referral to the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline for all patients ready to quit. Helpline registration patterns and characteristics of fax-referred hospitalized patients were tracked for the 4 years of the initiative (2009-2013); data were analyzed in 2013. Results Twenty-one hospitals and 12 clinics participated in the initiative. Fax referrals to the Helpline increased by >150% in the first year, from about 600 during the year prior to the implementation of the program (July 2009 to June 2010) to 1,581 from Oklahoma Hospital Association facilities alone in the first year following the launch of the initiative. Nearly 5,600 Oklahoma Hospital Association fax referrals were made during the 4-year study period. About 41% of these referrals resulted in Helpline enrollment (n=2,289). Conclusions Sustainable, evidence-based tobacco treatment interventions embedded in hospital systems can successfully identify tobacco users and provide effective treatment, including increased proactive Helpline referrals for quit coaching.




Leuthard, J. L., Beebe, L. A., Halstead, L., Olson, K. D., & Roysdon, J. W. (2015). Increased evidence-based tobacco treatment through Oklahoma hospital system changes. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 48(1), S65–S70.

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