260204 Motivating Busy Hospitals to Implement 100% Tobacco-Free Campus Policies

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bob Curry, MA , Marin County Health and Human Services, Tobacco Related Disease Control Program, San Rafael, CA
Elizabeth Emerson, MA , www.PublicHealthPolicyServices.org, Public Health Policy Services, Novato, CA
Issues: Most hospitals could do a better job at implementing a 100% tobacco-free campus policy, or if they have one, improving enforcement. However, trying to change a busy hospital from outside the system can be challenging. Public health advocates fortunate enough to gain a meeting may receive a response such as: “Great idea but we have too much on our plates right now; come back another year.” Description: In this case study, advocates were able to get three hospitals to adopt tobacco-free campuses, evaluate and improve their tobacco treatment programs, while developing lasting partnerships between hospitals and community groups. Lessons Learned: Health groups can offer solutions to policy barriers and challenges, such as providing cessation programs for hospital employees and patients, technical assistance and training for hospital staff and committees, along with other incentives to motivate reluctant hospital administrators. Co-authors helped hospitals develop implementation committees that included key decision makers in multiple departments. Because staff can change quickly during reorganizations, developing multiple “inside advocates” or “champions” is necessary to sustain momentum when the smoke-free policy gets de-prioritized. Recommendations: Remind hospitals of their health mission as leaders in the community, and the opportunity to join hundreds of North American hospitals that have established progressive tobacco free policies. Visible support from local health- coalitions can help hospitals overcome procrastination. Diplomatic, yet persistent follow-up, along with technical assistance and training can help hospitals overcome internal obstacles to a 100% tobacco-free campus policy and improved tobacco treatment protocols.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify 7 proven strategies to motivate crisis-oriented acute care hospitals to take time to implement tobacco-free campus policies and improve services to smokers.

Keywords: Tobacco Control, Hospitals

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I currently direct a tobacco control program for our local health department. I have worked in tobacco control with local coalitions at the regional and local level for 16 years. Co-author Elizabeth Emerson and I worked with multiple hospitals and clinics on development, implementation and enforcement of 100% tobacco-free campus policies. Our case study is based on lessons learned in the process of assisting these hospitals and clinics, which now have high compliance rates.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.