SARANAC LAKE - Adirondack Health's community health centers are among the first in New York to partner with the State Smokers' Quitline to help patients who want to kick the habit.
A new stop smoking and referral process for health center patients has been incorporated into the patient's electronic medical record at Adirondack Health. Through an integrated counseling and referral process, patients will not only receive stop-smoking counseling as part of a check-up, they are also directly linked to the State Smokers' Quitline for follow-up counseling, unless they choose not to be referred.
"There are approximately 17,600 smokers in Franklin and Essex counties. As healthcare providers, it is our responsibility to provide the right tools and advice to smokers." said Hazel Taft, RN, Clinical Case Manager for Adirondack Health.
The New York State Quitline is a service funded by the NYS Bureau of Tobacco Control and provides free 24/7 counseling and support to tobacco users who wish to quit. The Quitline can also provide a free two week supply of nicotine replacement therapy (nicotine patches) to eligible callers.
Helping smokers to quit by providing them with repeated counseling and medication is proven to have the highest quitting success rate. The Department of Health and Human Services has found that counseling in person or over the phone increases successful quit attempts by 30% to 50%. When a provider prescribes medication in addition to counseling, quit attempts are 70% more successful than with counseling alone.
"By automatically referring people to the Quitline, we're able to ensure that our patients who want to quit will receive follow-up counseling after they leave our facilities," commented Taft. "Without the Quitline, more of our patients would fall through the cracks and never receive the counseling and support which can truly make a difference between a successful and an unsuccessful quit attempt. We are very proud to be working with the New York State Smokers' Quitline to provide comprehensive treatment to patients who want to quit smoking."
All Adirondack Health locations are smoke-free for the health and safety of patients and visitors.