UW Hospital Will Implement EHR-Based Tobacco Treatment Intervention in Early 2018

UW Hospital will soon implement an Electronic Health Record (EHR)-based tobacco treatment intervention designed to help patients use their hospital stay as an opportunity to quit smoking.

It’s the first hospital in Wisconsin to implement this fully EHR-based workflow, which meets Joint Commission Tobacco Treatment Measures and includes an electronic referral to the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line.

Under this EHR-based workflow, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will meet at multiple points with patients who are screened for tobacco use after being admitted to the hospital.

This will give pharmacists a chance to help patients use their hospital stay to quit smoking, since patients cannot smoke in the hospital or during their stay, says UW-CTRI Outreach Specialist Amy Skora. An integral component of the intervention is to provide patients nicotine-replacement medications for use during their stay and a full course at discharge.

“Pharmacists will also get to meet with patients before they are discharged to do the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line referral so the patient can get a Quit Line call when they get out of the hospital,” Skora said.

Skora said UW-CTRI will help train a group of UW Hospital pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to implement the intervention in certain departments by early 2018 before expanding to the entire hospital. In the future, this EHR-based workflow—which includes the quitline referral to meet the Joint Commission Tobacco Treatment Measures—will be shared with hospitals throughout the state.

“We want to test the initiative at UW Hospital for several months before we share the approach with other hospitals or systems,” Skora said. “There is talk with a couple different Madison-based hospitals that are interested in doing this workflow.”

Implementing a new project of this size requires excellent collaboration between UW-CTRI and UW-Hospital pharmacists, according to Skora. 

“We can’t say enough good things about the Pharmacy Department over at the UW Hospital,” Skora said. “We’ve also had excellent support from UW Hospital leadership to do this.”