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Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment

The Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) program is a services program for patients at Northwell Health medical practices and hospitals that help identify patients in the health system whose drinking or substance use may be interfering with their health before it becomes a lifelong addiction. In the SBIRT program, patients age 18 and older, who visit a participating health facility, are pre-screened during their visit with three to five questions relating to their drinking, smoking, and drug use. If they meet a certain threshold based on that pre-screening, a health coach is alerted and approaches the patient to further assess them using a custom iPad application. Based on that interaction, patients may receive a brief motivational and awareness-raising intervention and, if necessary, a referral for treatment. The program is based on the patients’ individual goals. As a system, we have pre-screened over 175,000 patients (11% positive rate) and provided over 6,000 brief interventions.

Northwell's “Pathways to Recovery” program, an effective tool in our emergency department (ED), was developed in response to the opioid and substance use epidemic. Instead of simply reviving, stabilizing and discharging people who come in because of an overdose, this program allows clinical team members at South Shore University Hospital to provide a set of critical interventions that can put patients on the road to recovery from opioid use disorder.  The Pathways to Recovery program includes universal screening through SBIRT, overdose prevention/protection(NAL-SAT), medications for addiction treatment (MAT), navigation to sustained care, and streamlining transfer and stabilization of patients with substance use disorders.

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