A digital solution to streamline access to smoking cessation interventions

Traditional face-to-face smoking cessation interventions may result in significant delays between the patient’s decision to quit and access to effective pharmacological support or behavioural therapies. In a study published in the journal Public Health in Practice, we evaluated digital solution to streamline access to smoking cessation interventions

This was the first attempt in the UK where a GP-led online portal with added functionality was used to streamline timely access to pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation using an asynchronous formal request for treatment. We evaluated the findings of a primary care pilot from two general practices in West London where 4337 patients who are registered as smokers were contacted with unique link to access the portal.

Whereas smoking is the major avoidable cause of preventable morbidity and mortality in the UK and internationally, there are surprisingly few examples of a patient-facing primary care led IT system to streamline the delivery of evidence based smoking cessation interventions in the community setting. The use of a primary care-led online portal could enable patients to make an asynchronous request for treatment without the need to visit the general practice.

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