Impact of a Rheumatology Clinic Protocol on Tobacco Cessation Quit Line Referrals

Smoking increases cardiopulmonary and rheumatic disease risk, yet tobacco cessation intervention is rare in rheumatology clinics. This study from HIP Investigators Dr. Christie Bartels and Dr. Edmond Ramly aimed to implement a rheumatology staff-driven protocol, Quit Connect, to increase the rate of electronic referrals (e-referrals) to free, state-run tobacco quit lines.

Nurses and medical assistants were trained to use 2 standardized electronic health record (EHR) prompts to check readiness to quit smoking within 30 days, advise cessation, and connect patients using tobacco quit line e-referral orders. The objective was to use EHR data to examine the primary outcome of tobacco quit line referrals using pre/post design. The study found that implementing Quit Connect in rheumatology clinics was feasible and improved referrals to a state-run tobacco quit line.

Read More