The so-called office champions model embraced by the AAFP in 2010 as part of its efforts to curb tobacco use is achieving its goal of making tobacco cessation a practice priority. That's according to the just-released final report(12 page PDF) from the AAFP's 2012 Office Champions Tobacco Cessation National Dissemination Project.
Building on the success of a 13-month pilot project that launched in June 2010, 49 family medicine practices from across the country were selected last spring to participate in the national dissemination project. Each practice chose an office champion to spearhead the integration of tobacco cessation activities into day-to-day office routines, with the Academy providing training for the champions, as well as tobacco cessation resources and other support.
By training an office champion to take a leadership role in improving a practice's clinical and operational systems, each practice was able to identify opportunities to better integrate tobacco cessation activities into office routines and help create an environment that promotes cessation.
The typical office champion submitted three to four system changes per location as part of the practice's implementation plan, with practices indicating a 95 percent completion rate for these alterations.
- According to the final report from the AAFP's 2012 Office Champions Tobacco Cessation National Dissemination Project, participating practices increased documentation of patients' tobacco use status from an average of 88.1 percent to 92.7 percent and the percentage of patients offered tobacco cessation assistance from 35.7 percent to 74.1 percent.
- Nearly 90 percent of the practices reported that all or most of the system changes made during the project were still in place at its conclusion, and 96 percent reported being confident they would be able to sustain their changes.
- The Academy now is looking to recruit 20 federally qualified health centers to bring the model to practices in underserved communities.
According to the report, practices not only increased documentation of patients' tobacco use status from an average of 88.1 percent before beginning the project to 92.7 percent at its conclusion, they more than doubled the percentage of patients offered tobacco cessation assistance, moving the needle from 35.7 percent to 74.1 percent.
"These increases of 5.22 percent and 107.6 percent over baseline show that the Office Champions model was instrumental in assisting the practices successfully make systems changes to integrate tobacco cessation activities into daily office routines," the report concluded.
Moreover, nearly 90 percent of the practices reported that "all or most of the changes made" were still in place at the conclusion of the project, while 96 percent of the practices reported being confident they would be able to sustain their changes.
A list of practices(1 page PDF) that successfully completed the project is available online.
On the heels of the positive numbers from the national dissemination project report, the Academy now is looking to recruit 20 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) to bring the model to practices in underserved communities, which typically have higher tobacco use rates than other areas.
Thanks to an independent medical education grant by Pfizer Inc. through the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center, the FQHC project will provide practical strategies -- through an online training module, live teleconferences and assorted materials -- for making systemic clinical changes to improve tobacco cessation activities.
According to the CDC, adults who live in poverty are more likely to smoke than those who live above poverty level. In addition, data from the Health Resources and Services Administration(www.bphc.hrsa.gov) indicates that although an estimated 79.5 percent of community health center patients were queried about tobacco use at least once, only 52.7 percent of those patients received tobacco cessation advice or medication.
Applications will be accepted through March 22. For more information, e-mail project manager Michele Raney or call her at (800) 274-2237, Ext. 3140.