The primary objective of the DEPART [dépistage et évaluation pour l’arrêt tabagique – Screening and Evaluation for Smoking Cessation] clinics is to track cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and encourage clients to quit smoking. The secondary objectives of the clinics are to track clients with respiratory problems and actively invite them to use the self-management support available in order to take control of their condition.

As mentioned above, smoking cessation remains a strategic priority for the clinic. The DEPART clinic framework is an innovative approach to providing care. Chronic Disease Program Team members travel to medical facilities to support medical and nursing practice in providing condition specific interventions to clients with chronic respiratory diseases.

COPD guidelines clearly state the importance of screening clients using spirometry, and smoking cessation as a fundamental treatment for this pathology. A team of professionals was therefore put in place to ensure the implementation of these best practices within the Family Medicine Groups (FMG). The team developed criteria for selecting clients, and then contacts Family Medicine Groups (FMGs) to target and schedule the clients.

The implementation of the “DEPART Clinic” allows the team to:
-Meet clients in their community (their medical clinic or Local Community Service Centres (CLSC));
-Promote services offered by the Chronic Disease Program’s Nurse Navigator to clients;
-Offer on-the-spot spirometry performed by the respiratory therapist;
-Evaluate client potential based on the Fletcher-Peto curve;
-Initiate a same-day appointment with the smoking cessation clinician;
-Support the FMG nurse in their post-diagnosis education;
-Foster partnership and ensure essential links with private and CLSC medical clinics.

This practice is an integral part of the services we offer and is made available at each clinic or FMG in the territory twice a year. Scheduling the clinic appointment with the smoking cessation clinician on the same day as the spirometry screening is one of the strengths of the framework, as it combines both a preventive intervention and a pulmonary disease treatment during one visit.

Since its implementation, 26 new patients have received a COPD diagnosis and approximately one quarter of them have quit smoking. This data demonstrates the positive contribution the DEPART clinics have had on COPD screening and smoking cessation. To date, the results collected confirm the merit of this practice and offer a glimpse at more positive perspectives in terms of impact on the health of clients recruited through the DEPART clinic framework.

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