Site Spotlight - Trinity Health Grand Rapids

A female physician, wearing blue scrubs under a white coat, sits at her desk surrounded by a laptop, stethoscope, and papers. She is holding a cigarette in her left hand and making a "stop" signal with the other. Her face is not seen.

When the vascular surgery team at Trinity Health Grand Rapids was identifying the focus of their FY 2022 QI Project, they turned to their BMC2 VS report data. These data reflected that 92.3% of their vascular patients were ever smokers and approximately 44% of vascular patients were still smoking when admitted for surgery.

Additionally, their 2021 Q2 YTD Carotid report showed that 83.8% of their carotid patients had ever smoked, while 45.2% of carotid patients were currently smoking. At that time, the team’s only intervention for smoking cessation was smoking cessation counseling, and had a baseline result of 0%.

The vascular surgery team shared this information with physicians, advanced practice providers (APPs), and nursing leadership and aimed to decrease their number of current smokers by 10% by focusing on referring to smoking cessation counseling and increasing documentation for physician-delivered advice.

Data from 2022 Q4 show a 50% increase in providing smoking cessation counseling overall. Physicians delivered advice 100% of the time and referred smoking cessation resources 50% of the time. Referrals were starting to decline because the number of smokers has declined. As there are fewer patients to refer, this intervention is falling off physicians’ radar. Also, some patients are not yet interested in quitting and receiving counseling. The Trinity Health Grand Rapids team is addressing this drift to ensure future success through frequent communication and transparency.

Chuck Hyde, BSN, RN-BC, attends the Vascular Surgery Conference each week and provides feedback. Chuck, in addition to AnneMarie Pomeroy, BSN, RN; Sarah Simon, MSN, RN, CNL; and Kristine Todd, DNP, FNP-BC, RN-BC, also maintains a great relationship with the Team Lead Clinic RN, Shelly Walters, BSN, RN.

The team believes the success of this project would have been nearly impossible without Shelly’s partnership. Shelly does the pre-op teaching with the patients and counsels them on smoking cessation. “She has enthusiastically supported the QI work by ensuring that providers have the necessary tools for the referrals and specific documentation,” said Chuck and AnneMarie.

Trinity Health Grand Rapids physicians, APPs, and all office and hospital staff continue encouraging their patients to quit smoking. They have a plan for when their patients are ready to quit and believe they will continue improving on the progress they have made.