System Changes to Implement the Joint Commission Tobacco Treatment (TOB) Performance Measures for Improving the Treatment of Tobacco Use Among Hospitalized Patients

Donna Shelley, Keith S. Goldfeld, Hannah Park, Ana Mola, Ryan Sullivan, Jonathan Austrian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background In 2012 The Joint Commission implemented new Tobacco Treatment (TOB) performance measures for hospitals. A study evaluated the impact of a hospital-based electronic health record (EHR) intervention on adherence to the revised TOB measures. Methods The study was conducted in two acute care hospitals in New York City. Data abstracted from the EHR were analyzed retrospectively from 4,871 smokers discharged between December 2012 and March 2015 to evaluate the impact of two interventions: an order set to prompt clinicians to prescribe pharmacotherapy and a nurse-delivered counseling module that automatically populated the nursing care plan for all smokers. The study estimated the relative odds of a patient being prescribed medication and/or receiving smoking cessation counseling in the intervention period compared to the baseline time period. Results There was a modest increase in medication orders (odds ratio [OR], 1.35). In contrast, rates of counseling increased 10-fold (OR, 10.54). Patients admitted through surgery were less likely to receive both counseling and medication compared with the medicine service. Conclusion Hospitalization presents an important opportunity to engage smokers in treatment for primary and secondary prevention of tobacco-related illnesses. EHRs can be leveraged to facilitate integration of TOB measure requirements into routine inpatient care; however, the smaller effect on prescribing patterns suggests limitations in this approach alone in changing clinician behavior to meet this measure. The success of the nurse-focused EHR–driven intervention suggests an effective tool for integrating the cessation counseling component of the new measures and the importance of nursing's role in achieving the Joint Commission measure targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-240
Number of pages7
JournalJoint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management

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