PROSPERITY — Lovelace Family Medicine’s efforts to help patients quit smoking has been nationally awarded by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
The family practice completed the Office Champions Tobacco Cessation National Dissemination Project which wrapped up this past January after a year long effort, said Renee Martin with Lovelace Family Medicine.
Martin explained that the practice had to send out requests, write letters and had to track and monitor the year-long project. The reporting helped keep the physicians and patients accountable for their efforts to stop smoking.
“Dr. Lovelace has always been a huge advocate for helping patients stop smoking,” said Martin. “They make sure providers help patients and ask the patients about their status. If they are using (tobacco products), they are counselled. Each time the patients come in, a dialogue is created between the patient and doctor which helps with accountability.”
The idea was to have changes implemented during the plan with daily office routines so that an environment was created to deter smoking.
Lovelace Family Medicine was one of only 50 family medicine offices across the United States selected to participate in the project. The results of the project, which is supported by a Pfizer Inc. grant, will be distributed to family medicine practices nationwide.
Through the project’s training, there was online training, live teleconferences and a practice manual. Office champions were required to submit an implementation plan to the AAFP and track and report results.
“The U.S. Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline calls on clinicians to change the culture and practice patterns in their offices to ensure that every patient who uses tobacco is identified, advised to quit, and offered evidence-based treatments,” said Dr. Richard D. Feldman, chairman of the AAFP’s Tobacco Cessation Advisory Committee. “The changes Lovelace Family Medicine made during this project could positively impact their patients for years to come.”
Lovelace’s practice has three doctors and three nurse practitioners who also utilize the state’s Quit Line to help their patients quit smoking, Martin added.