Date of Graduation


Document Type



Obesity management, Obesity and primary care, specialty referrals, weight management clinic, obesity and readmission rate

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Degree Level



Kelly Young

Committee Member

Anna Jarrett

Second Committee Member

Angela Jones

Third Committee Member

Crystal Herron

Fourth Committee Member

Alton Irwin


Obesity affects a vast amount of the population within the state of Arkansas and has a high prevalence across the US. Weight management is notoriously difficult in the primary care setting. Currently the referral process to a specialty weight management clinic in Northeast Arkansas is incredibly lengthy and inefficient, often leading to missed or inappropriate referrals. As a result of a needs assessment within the health system, this DNP Quality Improvement Project focused on improving the referral process to a specialty weight management clinic. The aim was to create a more efficient referral process to benefit both the clinic, the hospital, and the patient by increasing revenue to the clinic, decreasing readmission rates, and effectively managing weight in the outpatient setting. The implementation process used Lewin’s Change Theory as a guide. Data was collected via electronic medical record (EMR) chart reviews and was stored in password-protected excel spreadsheets. This project found that a simple change in an EMR order set helped increase weight management clinic referrals and help set a baseline a data to follow for future studies related to the benefits of utilizing the weight management clinic.