Video examples

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Primary care workflow
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Brief intervention: Steve
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Brief intervention: Tom
SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment) represents an innovative, evidence-based approach to addressing unhealthy alcohol use with medical patients. Its core components include:
  • Regular and universal screening in the medical setting, regardless of medical complaint.
  • Systematic use of validated/standardized screening instruments.
  • Consideration of substance use as a continuum rather than a dichotomous "dependent versus not dependent" judgment.
  • Use of patient-centered change talk versus directive, prescriptive talk.
  • Facilitating smooth, bidirectional transitions between primary care and specialty addiction treatment.

While SBI towards adult alcohol use ranks among the highest-performing preventive services based on cost effectiveness and health impact, it also remains among the least implemented. Common perceived barriers include limited time during the patient visit, lack of knowledge and training, fearing negative patient reactions, and feeling uncomfortable discussing substance use.

This website presents information and tools designed to counter these barriers, and emphasizes a team-based approach to implementing SBIRT processes.

This website also addresses patient drug use to better assist primary care clinics and hospital emergency departments achieve Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) and Hospital Transformation Performance Program (HTPP) SBIRT performance measures.