LHSC Cardiac Care Program celebrates with the Ottawa Heart Institute

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From left to right: Dr. Kerri Mullen – Network Manager for Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation (OMSC), Dr. Neville Suskin – Cardiologist, Linda Cooke – LHSC Smoking Cessation Assistant, Dr. Raymond Yee – Chief of Cardiology, Naomi Reintjes – Manager, Cardiac Care Program

September 24, 2018

London Health Sciences Centre is celebrating ten years of partnership with the Ottawa Heart Institute’s Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation (OMSC). Since the implementation of the OMSC in London Health Sciences Centre’s Cardiac Care Program, an impressive 2,581 smokers have been reached through personalized, best practice tobacco dependence treatment, resulting in increased quit attempts and long-term cessation. An estimated 880 smokers remained smoke-free after six months as a result of the support they received while at London Health Sciences Centre.

In 2002, smoking cessation experts at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute developed the Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation – an institutional program that systematically identifies, provides treatment, and offers follow-up to patients who smoke as part of routine care. In 2006, UOHI began to assist other inpatient, outpatient and primary care settings to implement the OMSC. Implementation of the OMSC led to an absolute 11% increase in long-term quit rates among hospitalized patients (from 18% to 29% at 6 months). In eastern Ontario, nearly 100,000 smokers have been assisted through Ottawa Model programs, leading to ~25,000 people becoming smoke-free.

“Implementing the Ottawa Model at LHSC has resulted in tremendous benefit to our patients,” says Dr. Raymond Yee, LHSC’s Chief of Cardiology. “Providing personalized support to smokers who are trying to quit, and having access to the tools to help them achieve that goal, inevitably helps improve long term patient outcomes. Our clinical staff has been tremendously engaged in helping patients going through nicotine withdrawal and, in some cases, attempting to change habits that they’ve had for many years. We know that this program has contributed to a significant decrease in smokers in our community.”

“The success behind the Ottawa Model for Smoking cessation is truly found in the determined teams across Canada, like here at London Health Sciences Centre that are providing personalized support to smokers who are trying to quit,” said Dr. Andrew Pipe, co-developer of the OMSC and Canada’s foremost expert on smoking cessation. “As all hospital grounds in Ontario are now smoke-free as of January 2018, helping patients deal with nicotine withdrawal when they are admitted and stay smoke-free when they leave remains an important priority for hospitals in our region.”

Dr. Neville Suskin, LHSC cardiologist and Smoking Cessation Program Lead, is very pleased with the results seen at LHSC. “The OMSC program leveraged an already existing partnership with the UOHI (Acute Coronary Syndrome Guidelines Applied in Practice) and has been a very rewarding experience for patients and staff. OMSC provided vital additional services for smokers following hospitalization who attended our cardiac rehabilitation program and for those patients who were unable to participate in cardiac rehabilitation services. The smoke-free rates achieved (approximately 30%) at 6-months likely saved many lives and prevented re-hospitalization. We are very much looking forward to another 10 years!”