December 17, 2009
NAQC Quality Improvement Initiative Update

Two NEW Quality Issue Papers NOW Posted Online!

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While most of us are well-aware of NAQC's first two Quality Issue Papers, Measuring Reach of Quitline Programs and Measuring Quit Rates, you may not know that two additional papers have been published and recently posted on the NAQC website:

  • NEW: Integration of Tobacco Cessation Medications in State and Provincial Quitlines:A Review of the Evidence and the Practice with Recommendations (2009)
    This paper provides a comprehensive review of the current literature and practice related to the integration of tobacco cessation medications and quitline services. The authors discuss the major factors that must be considered in deciding if medications should be offered as part of quitline services including such topics as cost-effectiveness analysis, choice of medication, determination of quantity of medication to provide and the method of distribution of medications that will be used. Recommendations on key issues related to integration of medications into quitline services are also highlighted.

  • NEW: A Framework for Improving Tobacco Quitline Quality in North America
    The purpose of this paper is to propose a framework for improving the quality of quitlines and to describe the major elements of the framework. The framework highlights the shared responsibilities of funders and service providers alike and makes recommendations that encourage collaborative efforts to move quality improvement forward.

We hope that you will take time to review both issue papers and contact NAQC should you have any questions related to the content.

Resources to help guide you: Technical Assistance at Your Fingertips!
In service to our members and to continue our work to maximize the access, use and effectiveness of quitlines, NAQC continues to develop tools and provide technical assistance to quitlines as they implement the quality improvement initiative's recommended standard outcomes.
Implementation guides for the reach and quit rate quality standard calculations have been developed and can be found by clicking on the links below, or by going to the NAQC home page at, selecting "Quality Improvement," then "Improvement Initiative," then "Technical Assistance." To request personal technical assistance, suggest support materials that still need to be created or ask questions about the quality standards or associated materials, please email Jessie Saul, NAQC's Director of Research at Please note that the Minimal Data Set Update includes changes that are consistent with the new standard recommended calculations for quit rates and reach. MDS Update materials can be found by clicking here.

This paper provides a comprehensive review of the current literature on a wide variety of strategies to increase reach of tobacco cessation quitlines. Additionally, several examples from practice are included. The paper also highlights recommendations for quitline reach and funding levels from key government and health agencies, highlighting the need to increase reach to more tobacco users to save lives and direct medical costs.
As you know quality improvement is an ongoing process. While we are quite proud of the papers and implementation support resources that have been published to-date, we must keep moving forward. In 2010 NAQC will focus our quality-related efforts on publishing an issue paper on call center metrics and ramping up support for implementation of the new standard measures for quit rate and reach.

The issue paper on call center metrics will define the most critical operational, service performance and efficiency-related call center metrics for establishing and maintaining quitline quality. The paper, authored by Penny Reynolds of The Call Center School (, will make recommendations on important metrics to measure (including why they are important for funders, service providers and callers); recommendations on how to measure and report these metrics; and describe how these reports may be used by both the service providers and funders to improve quality.

The first draft of this exciting paper will be delivered to members mid-December. As with the previous issue papers, NAQC members will have an opportunity to provide feedback to the draft via an online feedback form or during conference calls to be held on February 3rd and 5th. NAQC's Advisory Council will meet mid-February to also provide feedback to the author and the final version of the paper will be published and available online by July, 2010.

Our quality-related work keeps moving forward and we are counting on your continued guidance and support. Should you have any questions, concerns or suggestions related to NAQC's Quality Improvement Initiative, please contact Tamatha Thomas-Haase at

Visit the NAQC Quality Improvement Initiative Archive for more information about the NAQC Quality Improvement Initiative or this update, contact

About the North American Quitline Consortium:
NAQC is a Phoenix, Arizona-based 501(3)(c) organization that seeks to promote evidence based quitline services across diverse communities in North America.
North American Quitline Consortium, 2009