Implementing Interprofessional Alcohol Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment in the Emergency Department: An Evidence-Based Quality Improvement Initiative

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Abstract

Alcohol misuse is one of the leading causes of illness, disease, injury, and death in the Unites States. For many patients, the emergency department (ED) visit may provide the only therapeutic opportunity to influence problematic drinking behavior. Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) is an evidence-based approach that may reduce alcohol-related morbidity and mortality and improve health outcomes and quality of life. Developing and implementing an alcohol SBIRT educational module for ED nurses and social workers is an efficient and effective mechanism to provide education about alcohol SBIRT, and revising the electronic health record to include an alcohol SBIRT protocol provides a standard mechanism for documentation by the interprofessional team of ED nurses and social workers. By integrating SBIRT knowledge as standard of practice in the ED setting, providers can positively impact the health and well-being of patients.

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