Another BREATHE Innovation: Unique Clinic Feedback

UW-CTRI staff working on the Breaking Addiction to Tobacco for Health (BREATHE) study are conducting qualitative research to understand how an innovative referral method is working in clinics.

Clinic staff from Aurora Health Care and Dean clinics have been using electronic health records (EHR) to describe the quit-smoking study to patients who smoke and offer a referral to the study team. If the patient agrees, BREATHE staff then reach out to discuss participation in the quit-smoking study.

Part of the P01 grant for BREATHE was designated to understand how this referral method worked in the field as well as the variation in its implementation.

BREATHE staff sent surveys to clinic staff at three key points—before the launch, as well as at 6 and 8 months after the launch. From the preliminary survey data, UW-CTRI’s Madeline Oguss, Dave Fraser, Tim Baker and Michael Fiore developed constructs used to guide focus groups (of medical assistants) and interviews (of doctors and/or clinic managers) at each of the study clinics.

UW-CTRI Staff Madeline Oguss and Amy Skora successfully completed the first focus group with several medical assistants from one BREATHE pilot clinic. Conversations were recorded with digital audio for analysis (see screen shot below).

Oguss said the focus group garnered interesting feedback, including future uses of this kind of patient-referral method in future research and clinical care.

“For me personally, it is a wonderful change of pace and perspective,” Oguss said. “Not only am I learning new research and interviewing skills, but I get to see the clinic environment and dynamics of clinic staff that, up until now, I’ve only learned about through others.”

This fall, Oguss will team with UW-CTRI Employees Skora, Allison Gorrilla, Amy-Rodriguez Reynolds and Elana Brubaker to arrange discussions with healthcare providers from each study clinic by the end of 2017.