Stamp reminds doctors to warn against smoking
A simple stamp on a patient's chart reminds doctors to ask patients if they smoke and to advise them about ways to quit, according to US researchers.
Over 2,500 patients and 45 doctors were involved in the study, which was conducted at a busy inner-city walk-in clinic serving a predominantly African-American population.
The study results, published in the July issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, show that before the stamp, 45% of doctors asked patients if they smoked. But after the addition of the stamp, 78% of doctors asked about smoking status. The stamps also appeared to lead to an increase in the number of patients advised to quit smoking-- 40% after the stamp versus 27% before the stamp -- and increased the number for whom smoking cessation was arranged from 6% to 12%.