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Implementing a campus-wide, 100% Tobacco-Free Policy is a great way to showcase your healthcare facility's role as a community leader in protecting the health of the residents in our state. The 2010 U.S. Surgeon General's Report makes it clear that there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke. All Healthcare Facility WellSpots are required to implement a Tobacco-Free Policy. For sample policies and tips for implementing in your organization, visit the provided resources.
Health practitioners and providers play a major role in ensuring that the appropriate exchange of information is coordinated. An effective referral system ensures a close relationship between all levels of the health system and helps to ensure people receive the best possible care closest to home. It also assists in making cost-effective use of hospitals and primary health care services. Referrals can be done via fax, phone call, e-referral through an Electronic Health Record, or by providing the patient with a referral directly.
It is important to ensure that Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are disseminated and understood by all staff in order to ensure that they are followed for the maximum benefit. Methods for communicating this SOP include:
- reviewing annually at an all-staff meeting
- including within training materials for new hires
- including a copy of the policy in an employee email
- inclusion within an employee handbook
- posting to the facility's intranet website for employees
Team-based care allows providers to truly connect with their patients by involving more of the practice staff in patient care, including handling patients' questions, calls and messages. Utilizing a physician-led, team-based care approach ensures everyone is aware of the patient's important health information. The first step toward a team-based care approach is obtaining leadership support. A sample leadership support statement can be found in the resources listed below. It is also important to make sure staff understand the principles of team-based care through training. This can include:
- an in-person training
- attendance at a webinar
- conference attendance
Training must be available to clinical and non-clinical staff, and must be completed on an annual basis. For team-based care training resources, please visit the links in the resource section below.
Implementation of Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) standards are a strategy toward advancing health equity, improving quality and eliminating health care disparities. To meet this benchmark, facilities may select any of the following strategies:
- Provision of staff training, sometimes referred to as cultural sensitivity or diversity training
- Utilization of bilingual providers
- Utilization of bilingual family members and support staff
- Utilization of professional medical interpreters
- Utilization of telephonic interpretation services
- Provide printed materials in the language of your population
- Assess health literacy of your patient population
Patient-centered care is defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality as a partnership among practitioners, patients and their families that ensures that decisions respect patients' wants, needs and preferences, and that patients have the education and support they need to make decisions and participate in their own care.
Healthcare facilities are encouraged to focus on the following educational areas as a way to offer patients self-management strategies and empower patients to manage their own care when it comes to chronic disease: cancer screening/services, hypertension screening/management, diabetes screening/management, prediabetes, fluoride treatment, oral health preventive care, weight management, nutrition education, physical activity education, HPV vaccination, screening tools (prediabetes, diabetes, heart health).
To meet this benchmark, facilities must submit documentation or a picture to illustrate their method of dissemination. Acceptable dissemination methods include:
- placing information in waiting room or lobby
- hanging posters in waiting room or lobby
- posting information in patient portal
- discussing with patient at discharge by clinician
- handing materials to patient at discharge by front-desk staff
- making available at front-desk
As a health care professional, you understand the negative effects your patients live with as a result of tobacco addiction, and tobacco cessation is one area where we can make a positive impact on health outcomes in Louisiana. Together with counseling or medication, quit rates can be significantly greater than quitting without help. Fax-to-Quit Louisiana helps health care providers provide an easy and seamless counseling component to patients who are ready to quit tobacco. To become a certified Fax-to-Quit provider, simply complete the training module. The presentation takes about 15 minutes and is followed by a short quiz.
Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) Program curricula can help patients adopt healthy behaviors, manage disease symptoms and prevent further disease progression. Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) curricula can help patients adopt healthy behaviors to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. These lifestyle change programs are known to be more effective then providing patients with education during physician visits or at hospital discharge, as they incorporate self-care principles and provide a group setting to give individuals the emotional support needed to make lifestyle changes.
Healthcare facilities may demonstrate collaboration with one of the following DSME training or prevention programs:
Healthcare facilities should encourage patients to seek care beyond their provider visit stay by providing referrals to DSME and DPP programs. Ideally, the DSME and DPP programs will report back to the referring provider.