New UC Quits study across all five UC health systems shows electronic referrals help patients stop smoking

 A new University of California study published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research today shows long-term success when health care providers make electronic referrals (e-referrals) for their patients to California’s tobacco quitline. Quitlines offer free help to stop tobacco that doubles the chances of staying quit for good.

Until this study was conducted, there has been little research about the real-world implementation, maintenance, and outcomes of e-referrals to quitlines. The study is the first collaboration of its kind to be conducted by all five University of California health systems.

“Even though the five UC health systems are under the umbrella of UC Health, they each are independent, which is why the implementation benefited from a whole-systems approach, taking into account the different IT systems and clinical workflows,” said Dr. Elisa Tong, lead author of the study and UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center tobacco researcher.

The study supports the broad implementation of tobacco quitline e-referrals across health care settings and finds that modifying electronic health records systems and clinical workflows will enable and encourage e-referrals. If implemented and maintained appropriately, the study showed that e-referrals will improve patient care, make it easier for clinicians to support patients in quitting, and increase the number of patients using evidence-based treatment. 


Read the study online