Implementation of computerized alcohol screening and advice in an emergency department—a nursing staff perspective

Preben Bendtsen, Marika Holmqvist, Kjell Johansson
Accident and Emergency Nursing 2007, 15 (1): 3-9
Changes in attitudes towards alcohol prevention among nursing staff are evaluated after implementing an opportunistic computerized alcohol screening and intervention (e-SBI) at an emergency department. After having assessed the patients in the triage room the nurses asked patients to perform the e-SBI on a touch screen computer. Before the start of the project more than 60% of the nurses expected the patients to react negatively when asked about their alcohol habits. After one year of screening only 10% reported experience of negative reactions from the patients. More than 50% of the nurses found it easy or very easy to ask the patients to perform the e-SBI and more than 75% of the nurses agreed that the e-SBI did not affect their workload. The proportion of nurses who considered alcohol prevention to be part of their duties at the emergency department did not change (40%) after implementing the e-SBI. During the two-year study period, 1982 patients completed the e-SBI which constituted 10-20% of all patients between 16 and 70 years of age attending the department for a sub critical condition. The e-SBI seems to have better potential than ordinary alcohol screening and intervention for implementation into routine emergency departments due to its simplicity and low time consumption.

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