Emergency Departments Nationwide Institute New Alcohol Screening and Intervention Process

Free Emergency Nurses Association Intervention Tool Kit Reduces Patient

Injuries/Repeat Visits and Risky Drinking

Apr 07, 2008, 01:00 ET from Emergency Nurses Association

    DES PLAINES, Ill., April 7, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- Beginning April 10,
 National Alcohol Screening Day, 360 nurses in emergency departments
 nationwide will begin using the Emergency Nurses Association's (ENA)
 alcohol screening and intervention tool kit designed to address alcohol use
 problems with patients. Studies have shown that the Screening, Brief
 Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) procedure can be effective
 in reducing patients' alcohol consumption.
     A study reported in the December 2007 issue of the Annals of Emergency
 Medicine found that emergency department (ED) patients who underwent a
 regimen of SBIRT reported lower rates of risky drinking at the three-month
 follow-up than those who received only written information about reducing
 their drinking.
     SBIRT in the emergency department is a procedure by which health care
 workers screen patients for alcohol use and take advantage of the
 "teachable moment" to provide a brief intervention. This is designed to
 motivate patients who exhibit unhealthy drinking behaviors to cut back or
 quit drinking, or to accept a referral for further assessment and
 treatment. All of these 360 emergency nurses have made a formal commitment
 to the ENA to begin an official program based on the new ENA SBIRT tool
 kit. ENA has distributed these tool kits free of charge to institutions
 across the country.
     "When people come to the emergency department with an alcohol or
 drug-related illness or injury, it is a unique moment when a message of
 curtailed or discontinued consumption can be very effective," said Eric
 Christensen, RN, BSN, CEN. "As nurses, we need to be prepared to take
 advantage of that moment and the ENA SBIRT tool kit helps us do that. It
 gives hospitals the materials they need to train their nurses in this
 potentially life-saving process."
     In demonstration projects over the past several years, the SBIRT
 procedure has been shown to be so effective that as of 2008, this procedure
 now qualifies for re-imbursement from Medicare, Medicaid and commercial
     "The SBIRT procedure does not focus solely on patients who suffer from
 alcoholism. It targets every patient served by the ED," said 2008 ENA
 President Denise King, RN, MSN, CEN. "Fewer alcohol and substance related
 patients means shorter waits, reduced staff work loads, safer emergency
 departments, and a safer community as a whole."
     The development of the ENA SBIRT implementation tool kit was
 financially supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
 (NHTSA). The tool kit includes a health care professional manual explaining
 the goals and concepts of SBIRT, a laminated pocket guide for quick
 reference to screening questions and patient assessment, an interactive
 training video on DVD, and role-plays. For more information on the tool
 kit, visit http://www.ena.org/ipinstitute/SBIRT/default.asp.
     About the Emergency Nurses Association
     The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) is the only professional nursing
 association dedicated to defining the future of emergency nursing and
 emergency care through advocacy, expertise, innovation, and leadership.
 Founded in 1970, ENA serves as the voice of more than 32,000 members and
 their patients through research, publications, professional development,
 injury prevention, and patient education. Additional information is
 available at ENA's Web site, at http://www.ena.org.

SOURCE Emergency Nurses Association