Recruiting and engaging smokers in treatment in a primary care setting: developing a chronic care model implemented through a modified electronic health record
Almost 35 million U.S. smokers visit primary care clinics annually, creating a need and opportunity to identify such smokers and engage them in evidence-based smoking treatment. The purpose of this study is to examine the feasibility and effectiveness of a chronic care model of treating tobacco dependence when it is integrated into primary care systems using electronic health records (EHRs). The EHR prompted primary care clinic staff to invite patients who smoked to participate in a tobacco treatment program. Patients who accepted and were eligible were offered smoking reduction or cessation treatment. More than 65 % of smokers were invited to participate, and 12.4 % of all smokers enrolled in treatment—30 % in smoking reduction and 70 % in cessation treatment. The chronic care model developed for treating tobacco dependence, integrated into the primary care system through the EHR, has the potential to engage up to 4.3 million smokers in treatment a year.