Learning Objectives: Explain how to implement a five-step process for organizing a local health-care system collaboration to promote cessation
Abstract: The objective of this collaboration was to build capacity within the healthcare community to provide cessation services in Snohomish County. The County Health District invited representatives from the eight major health systems to meet and discuss tobacco cessation strategies. During these meetings four goals were established: 1. To increase availability of cessation services, 2. Reduce barriers to access to services, 3. Reduce cost of service to organizations and 4. Avoid duplication of services.
To accomplish these goals five vital process steps needed to be taken. First we needed to establish easy communication between health systems. Second, we needed to understand the special needs and concerns of each health organization. Third, we assessed how all the health systems worked in the county (including non-affiliated physicians). Fourth, we collected data related to barriers and incentives from smokers within the county. Finally, we needed to provide ongoing feedback and resources to all members of the collaboration.
After fifteen months we have seen some exciting results. All eight health care organizations have become a part of this collaborative process. The organizations are working together to meet the cessation needs of Snohomish County by offering classes, counseling and provider training. Referral Pads have been distributed to all providers in the county. There is now a centralized information line on cessation within the county.
Initially, significant time is required for the coordinating organization to research, reach out, educate, and encourage health systems to participate. Time is needed to find the right people who will champion the project. Collaborative marketing had a positive impact.
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