Putnam Hospital Center saw an opportunity to enhance the use of its electronic medical record (EMR) to screen patients at point of entry to determine if they are smokers. If a patient is identified as a smoker, EMR triggers smoking cessation education. Also, an interface was created with the New York State Quitline to facilitate transmission of patient information on discharge if they opted into the program.
This program was developed in conjunction with the hospital’s Community Service Plan, which opted to reduce illness, disability, and death related to tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure. As a result of the program, 97% of all inpatients and outpatients are now screened and all cancer center patients are screened; 57% of smokers agreed to opt into the smoking cessation program. There were 93 unique referrals to the New York State Quitline in year one, and the relationship with the Quitline improved.