Wednesday, September 17, 2014

SBIRT fights alcohol abuse

Last year, I wrote about the college drinking phenomenon known as Thirsty Thursday and pointed out that a significant percentage of Emergency Room patients at St. Elizabeth's Hospital come from nearby Boston College, arriving with a diagnosis of alcohol poisoning.

That's the bad news.  The good news is that a group of volunteer undergrad pre-meds from the same school participate in a Screening Brief Intervention Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) program at the hospital.

Aaron Lemmon, who developed the program for the hospital, reports, "Over the past four years 18 screeners have engaged 543 patients with substantial improvement in both recidivism rates and culture of care.  They also have produced a video documentary, video role-plays, and an 84 page manual to facilitate program replication, which were presented at two national conferences."

The video follows.  This is a lovely example of cooperation between two institutions, relying on the idealistic energy of future doctors.  Aaron's hope is to expand programs "through which major health care providers could selectively integrate aspiring healthcare professionals into expanded care teams with minimal cost."  After he finishes his MBA/MSIS in Health Sector Strategy at Boston University in 2015, he's bound to make a difference.

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