Progress toward a smokefree health target in a New Zealand hospital
Ken Bagnall, Colleen Coffey, Barbara Gilchrist & Olly Wilson
Ken Bagnall Clinical Nurse Specialist - Smokefree, South Canterbury District Health Board (SCDHB), Timaru Public Hospital, Timaru, New Zealand
This article describes a response to health targets measuring the delivery and effectiveness of Brief Intervention to smokers receiving hospital care. Hospitals in New Zealand have been smokefree since 2004. In 2009, influenced by the findings of Zhu et al (2007), new national health targets and implementation of an ‘ABC’ - Assessment, Brief Advice and Cessation programme; were developed. Initial intervention rates for Timaru Hospital were below the 22% of patients that research suggested could be responsive to brief advice (MoH, 1999).
Timaru Hospital implemented new electronic and paper based systems, including the introduction of fluorescent ‘pink elephant’ labels to improve staff awareness and recording of care. An overall increase was seen in the assessment of smokers. Within four months intervention rates had trebled and referrals to cessation services reached and then exceeded predicted levels. This was reflected in national performance figures which saw the hospital move from 17th to 3rd position overall.
Source of funding: This work was fully funded by the Ministry of Health, (MoH) NZ and the South Canterbury District Health Board, (SCDHB) NZ.
Declaration of interest: None of the authors have received additional funding from any individual or organisation other than the MoH and SCDHB.