Fax and e-Referrals


One way to integrate the Quit Line into your standard care is by establishing a system at your clinic or health system to refer patients either by electronic health record (EHR) or fax.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Fax Referral to a tobacco quitline leads to higher patient satisfaction and smoking quit rates. To read the evidence base, click here.

According to research by the University of Wisconsin, referrals via EHR (eReferrals) can be 3-4 times more effective than fax referrals.

Here’s how it works: A healthcare provider asks the patient about tobacco use. Once a smoker is identified and agrees to make a quit attempt, the patient is asked to agree to have their name and number shared with the Quit Line. The Quit Line then makes the initial call to the patient to begin the counseling program. Smokers can request an interpreter as part of the referral. To ensure good follow-up, the Quit Line will communicate with you about the intervention plan provided to the patient.

Value Added

These referral systems provide an intensive counseling intervention that is often not feasible for a busy clinic. We know that ongoing counseling increases the likelihood of a successful quit attempt. The Fax to Quit program and eReferral shift the burden of making that initial call from the smoker to the Quit Line.

You can incorporate systematic Quit Line referral into your standard care for patients who smoke, vape, or chew tobacco. To get started, talk to your regional outreach specialist from the University of Wisconsin.