CRH GOES FOR THE GOLD
The Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network, an initiative of the Breathe Easy Coalition of Maine recently recognized several hospitals, including Calais Regional Hospital, whose staff has worked hard to make their campuses a 100% tobacco-free environment. Calais Regional Hospital was awarded its second Gold Star Standards of Excellence Award this Spring.
In making the announcement, the Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network said that as leaders in health care, Maine hospitals seek to optimize the health of patients and the surrounding community. They provide key community support and are exemplary role models of health care excellence. Tobacco-free campus policies are examples of this commitment that benefits patients, employees, and the entire community.
The award is based on a 10 Point Policy Plan/Standards of Excellence:
1. The hospital campus is 100% tobacco-free. Tobacco use by staff, patients, and visitors is prohibited at all times in and on the hospital’s property including in cars, in parking lots, at all satellite sites or other properties the hospital owns and rents, including off-site meetings and conferences. (“Tobacco” refers to cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, chew, cigars, pipes, non-FDA approved nicotine delivery systems [electronic cigarettes].)
2. Written policies and procedures that communicate and reinforce such policies on tobacco exist and are reviewed at least annually and as needed.
3. Appropriate signage is posted at key locations including entrances to the grounds and buildings.
4. Information about tobacco use and treatment, secondhand smoke, and local and statewide resources are readily available to patients, staff, and visitors.
5. Advertising or promotion of tobacco products is not allowed on the hospital’s campus or satellite facilities. This includes hospital publications and magazines subscribed to by the hospital for their waiting rooms.
6. Clinical services are available for any patient needing/desiring assistance for nicotine withdrawal symptoms and/or quitting, including evidence-based medications.
7. The hospital supports education and training on tobacco use and treatment for employees.
8. Tobacco treatment services are available for employees. For insured employees and dependents, benefits include coverage of counseling and medication therapy for quitting tobacco, with minimal, or no, barriers to utilization (co-pays, out of pocket costs, limits).
9. Hospital recommended lodging highlights smoke-free establishments.
10. The hospital refuses all donations from the tobacco industry, and divests itself of all tobacco company stock.
According to the MTFHN, the recipient hospitals have shown their commitment to maintaining a healthy environment and protecting their employees, patients, and visitors from secondhand smoke by implementing tobacco-free policies on their campus. “We congratulate their efforts and have awarded them the Gold Star Standard of Excellence award,” the officials said.