Newswise — DETROIT – Henry Ford Health System has co-authored a how-to manual that offers hospitals and other health care organizations practical strategies for implementing and enforcing a successful smoke-free or tobacco-free policy on their property.
The 28-page manual Keeping Your Hospital Property Smoke-Free is the result of a four-year research project funded by the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It was written in collaboration with The Joint Commission, and will be published online today at www.jointcommission.org .
The manual offers how-to steps in several key areas including:• What to consider before implementing a smoke-free property policy• Getting buy-in from leadership and employees• Effective communication tactics• Enforcement tips• Avoiding common pitfalls
While all U.S. hospitals are smoke-free indoors, Henry Ford researchers found in a 2008 survey that 45 percent of hospitals had extended the ban to their entire property. Another 15 percent of hospitals planned to enact similar policies in the near future.
In July 2007, Henry Ford and three other Wayne County health care systems adopted smoke-free and tobacco-free policies. The policies extended their indoor no-smoking rules to the entire hospital property, leased properties, vehicles, walkways and parking lots.
Keeping Your Hospital Property Smoke-Free is co-authored by Sharon Milberger, ScD, and Amanda Holm, MPH, of Henry Ford’s Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (CHPDP). The manual is intended to guide hospitals in their effort to extend the reach of their existing smoke-free or tobacco-free policy.
“Keeping up the momentum of a smoking ban or tobacco use ban on all your hospital properties outdoors may seem intimidating at first,” says Holm, project manager for CHPDP. “The strategies, recommendations and resources offered in this manual go a long way toward alleviating that fear. As long as you keep communicating with your employees, your patients, vendors and contractors about the change, they will adjust. The key is to focus on the health issue.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in five deaths every year is linked to tobacco use. Cigarette smoking accounts for more than $193 billion in lost productivity and health care costs every year, while secondhand smoking account for more than $10 billion in health care costs and mortality.
The strategies and recommendations in Keeping Your Hospital Property Smoke-Free are based on research conducted and compiled by researchers at Henry Ford’s CHPDP and The Joint Commission. This included a web-based survey of 1,916 hospitals and interviews with 182 randomly-selected hospitals that reported having a 100 percent smoke-free campus. Researchers also visited 10 hospitals to obtain data on their successes for implementation and enforcement.
“These are strategies that have proved successful at many hospitals,” says Milberger, principal investigator of the research study and director of CHPDP. “For hospitals that are not sure how to maintain their smoke-free properties long term, this manual is a helpful resource.”
Henry Ford Health System, one of the country's largest health care systems, is a national leader in clinical care, research and education. It includes the 1,200-member Henry Ford Medical Group, six hospitals, the Health Alliance Plan, 32 primary care centers and many other health-related entities throughout southeast Michigan. In 2010, Henry Ford provided nearly $200 million in uncompensated care. Henry Ford also is a major economic driver in Michigan and employs more than 23,000. The health system is led by CEO Nancy Schlichting. To learn more, visit HenryFord.com
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 19,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,300 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,500 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also provides certification of more than 2,000 disease-specific care programs, primary stroke centers, and health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.