Implementing a team-based SBIRT model in primary care clinics

John Muench, Kelly Jarvis, Mary Gray, Meg Hayes, Denna Vandersloot, Joseph Hardman, Peter Grover, Jim Winkle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background and aim: Six Oregon primary care clinics integrated a team-based, systematized alcohol and drug Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) process into their standard clinic workflow. Clinic staff administered screening forms and brief assessments, and clinicians were trained to perform brief interventions and treatment referrals when needed. Methods: Patient-level data from the electronic health record (EHR) were used to calculate implementation rates in each clinic-specifically, how often each step of a 3-step SBIRT process was performed when indicated. Rates were tracked on a quarterly basis over 2 years. Results: Implementation rates increased over time for screening and assessment tasks performed by clinic staff, but not for brief interventions performed by clinicians. Averaged over time, annual screens were given to approximately 44% of eligible patients, brief assessments to around 66% of eligible patients, and brief interventions to about 40% of those eligible. Considerable variability existed across individual clinics, some of which demonstrated notably high rates. Conclusion: A team-based approach to SBIRT in primary care settings capitalizes on the medical home model but also creates unique challenges. Facilitative EHR tools are necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Substance Use
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Alcohol use
  • Implementation
  • Medical home
  • Substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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