Success Story: Walk a Doc

We were beyond delighted to hear from Dr. David Cook about his recent Walk a Doc with Dr. Chris Hall.  Thank you for your glowing review and kind words, David!

“I was prompted to pursue doing a Walk a Doc because I have been running a pre-operative smoking cessation clinic for the last 3 years that was initially supported by a SPOC through the SSC. The clinic hasn’t had Island Health involvement up to this point. We had collected a fair amount of data over 3 years, which showed very good results including a reduced rate of surgical cancellations, shorter duration of stay post-operatively and lower post-op complication rate. This is consistent with the body of evidence on pre-operative smoking cessation. Given how successful the clinic has been I have been hoping to expand this service. I have had discussions with Island Health surgical leadership about trying to expand the clinic, but I wasn’t able to generate any progress. I wasn’t really sure who else within Island Health I could discuss this clinic model with and so when I heard about the walk a doc this seemed like a great opportunity to discuss this idea with Island Health leadership to see whether this was a model worth pursuing.

Meeting up with Dr Hall was easy. We spoke for about 1 hour and discussed what I had already done with the clinic, the data that I have supporting it and what I was hoping to achieve. It was a very friendly and positive conversation and I left that conversation feeling like she had a good sense of what I was hoping to do and I felt like she was interested in trying to move this clinic forwards. She had some great suggestions in terms of how to make a business case for the clinic as well as what types of funding might work for this clinic model. We came up with a plan to take my idea to a project design team and to try to pursue a service contract model which would enable increased physician recruitment, clinic expansion and better sustainability of this clinic model.

Bigger picture, most patients who smoke want to quit, but are waiting for the right time. An upcoming surgery can be this opportunity for some patients and targeting smoking cessation resources at this group leads to shorter post operative lengths of stay, reduced post operative complications and fewer surgical cancellations which benefits hospital flow and hospital bed capacity. Furthermore, patients who quit smoking for surgery are more likely to stay quit and this can reduce cardiovascular and respiratory events downstream, which would save health care dollars down the road. Overall this was a fantastic experience for me and I hope will be the beginning of expanding this service. “

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