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ISMA grant helps physicians improve smoking cessation efforts
e-Reports, February 22, 2010
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Indiana CME providers who participated in the grant to improve smoking cessation treatment were:

  • Elkhart General Hospital
  • Fort Wayne Medical Education Foundation
  • Lafayette Medical Education Foundation
  • Indiana Academy of Family Physicians
  • Northern Indiana Medical Education Foundation
  • St. Mary’s Medical Center, Hobart
  • St. Catherine Hospital, East Chicago
  • Community Hospital, Munster

While Indiana has the second highest smoking rate in the nation, some continuing medical education (CME) providers here joined an effort to help physicians treat and diagnose patients who smoke. In fact, of 10 states in the collaborative effort, Indiana had the second-highest number of CME providers participating.

A block grant awarded to the ISMA enabled eight Indiana accredited CME providers to offer tobacco cessation programs to physicians. The grant funds, awarded in 2008 and provided by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, were distributed through the Physicians’ Institute for Medical Excellence.

The goal of the grant was to help physicians improve patient outcomes on smoking cessation. It also provided tools to help them measure performance with patients. Other states receiving grant money included Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia.

Physician participation
Fort Wayne family physician Robert Wilkins, M.D., said the CME activity he attended was one of the most successful, well-received programs on smoking cessation he has attended.

“The program encouraged us to present smoking cessation to patients in a more positive light, such as telling patients they would feel better if they quit smoking,” he noted. “The session gave me a lot of takeaways that could be applied to my practice. I was very pleased with the program.”

Of all participants, 52 percent were physicians. Here are some of the results:

  • Data collected from 618 patients demonstrated the willingness of smokers to quit.
  • Following the educational activities, more than 70 percent of the physicians said they asked patients about quitting or encouraged them to try quitting again. They also helped patients find counseling support.
  • The number of physicians billing for tobacco cessation counseling increased 47 percent and the number of times they counseled increased 59 percent.
  • In follow-up, 75 percent had used new materials and strategies with patients.
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