With an eye toward improving patient health and conserving resources, University of Colorado Hospital has expanded its smoking cessation program to the outpatient arena.
The outpatient program, which launched last July, focuses for now on patients in the Lung Cancer, Nodule, Pulmonology and COPD clinics, all of which are under the umbrella of UCHealth’s Center for Lungs and Breathing
. The aim is to identify smokers who are open to discussing quitting and connect them with a tobacco treatment specialist (TTS) who can offer immediate and ongoing support with counseling and medications.
Helping patients kick the habit isn’t a nice-to-have, said Allen Wentworth, RT, MEd, director of Respiratory Therapy for UCH. It’s a must for both patients and the hospital.
“The most important thing we can do as providers is to help patients stop smoking,” said Wentworth, who lost his father to smoking-related COPD. “It’s more important than exercise, healthy eating, and good sleeping habits. A robust smoking cessation program in both the inpatient and outpatient areas shows we are walking the walk as a hospital in terms of helping patients move from health care to health.”