171. Systems Strategy 1. Implement a tobacco-user identification system in every clinic

Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update

Text version of slide presentation.

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Action Strategies for implementation
Implement an office-wide system that ensures that for EVERY patient at EVERY clinic visit, tobacco-use status is queried and documented.

Office system change: Expand the Vital Signs to include tobacco use or implement an alternative universal identification system.

Responsible staff: Nurse, medical assistant, receptionist, or other individual already responsible for recording the vital signs. These staff must be instructed regarding the importance of this activity and serve as nonsmoking role models.

Frequency of utilization: Every visit for every patient regardless of the reason for the visit.a

System implementation steps: Routine smoker identification can be achieved by modifying electronic medical record data collection fields or progress note in paper charts to include tobacco use status as one of the vital signs.


Blood Pressure: ______________________

Pulse: _______ Weight: _________

Temperature: ________________________

Respiratory Rate: _____________________

Tobacco Use: Current Former Never (circle one)

a. Repeated assessment is not necessary in the case of the adult who has never used tobacco or not used tobacco for many years, and for whom this information is clearly documented in the medical record.

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Page last reviewed October 2014
Page originally created September 2012
Internet Citation: 171. Systems Strategy 1. Implement a tobacco-user identification system in every clinic. Content last reviewed October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/clinicians-providers/guidelines-recommendations/tobacco/clinicians/presentations/2008update-full/slide171.html