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
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