A simple set of decision-support tools combined with institutional buy-in can help increase the number of cancer patients who engage in treatment to help them quit tobacco, data from researchers in the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania show. The study is based on researchers’ clinical experience with Penn’s Tobacco Use Treatment Service (TUTS), which combines technology tied to electronic health records with tried and true treatment methods to support patients in their efforts to kick their habit for good. The Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network published the findings this month.
TUTS was designed as a response to that call to action. Supported by the Cancer Moonshot and embedded in Penn Medicine’s Radiation Oncology Department, the program systematically identifies smokers through electronic health records, provides personalized and persuasive advice to quit smoking, and facilitates referrals to evidence-based smoking cessation treatments, including counseling and FDA-approved medication for tobacco dependence. The program is co-led by Robert A. Schnoll, Ph.D., a professor of Psychiatry, and Frank T. Leone, MD, MS, an associate professor of Medicine both in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
“Seeing a high number of clinicians from two different specialities use this tool indicates a level of institutional support that has proven critical to the successful launch of our program,” said lead author Brian Jenssen, MD, an assistant professor of Pediatrics and a primary care pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.”