Substance use disorders, including opioid dependency and addiction, are one of the biggest and deadliest public health threats facing the United States. Many physicians and other providers lack the training to confidently screen their patients and help get them treatment. A new app has been released for health care providers that can help seamlessly guide healthcare professionals through this process.
The SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention & Referral to Treatment) for Health Professionals app is designed to be used by providers in a health care setting. It is available for tablets, and offers a standardized, streamlined set of questions to use with patients to help identify potentially problematic patterns of drug or alcohol use. If the answers identify a moderate to high level of risk for health or social problems due to substance use, the app guides health care professionals in how to speak to patients about their readiness to change their lifestyles and set new goals. The app also supports the provider in discussions with patients regarding referrals to substance use disorder treatment, when appropriate.
SBIRT is an evidence-based approach to identifying patients who use alcohol and other drugs at risky levels with the goal of reducing and preventing related health consequences, disease, accidents and injuries. Risky substance use is a health issue and often goes undetected. The approach provides opportunities for early intervention before more severe consequences occur. Based on implementation of this model nationally, of 459,599 patients screened, 22.7 percent screened positive for a spectrum of use (risky/problematic, abuse/addiction). Of those who screened positive 15.9 percent were recommended for a brief intervention with a smaller percentage recommended for brief treatment (3.2 percent) or referral to specialty treatment (3.7 percent). The application can be performed in a variety of settings. Screening does not have to be performed by a physician.
Fairfax Detox Recovery says, “Our aim is to get the app into the hands of as many health care professionals as possible.” Doctors check blood pressure, heart rate, and weight to screen people’s health. Substance use status screening can also help protect people’s health. The app could help doctors get people the help they need sooner rather than later. Many people die every day due to misuse and abuse of alcohol, opioids, and other substances. Increased use of the app could potentially save lives. The app can help break down barriers by providing tools that are easy or clinical personal members to use.
iMedicalApps.com selected SBIRT for Health Professionals as a top new app for medical professionals. Fairfax Detox Recovery's health coaches have tested the tablet app, which is currently available for iOS. Versions for Android and laptops are planned. It can be downloaded from the Apple App Store for free.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
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