Alcohol misuse is a public health problem, and like other public health problems, early detection and intervention is crucial to offsetting the negative impact. Physicians and their practice teams can reduce the harm and societal costs associated with risky drinking by conducting alcohol screening and brief intervention (SBI) with their patients.
Screening for unhealthy alcohol use, just like hypertension or tobacco screening, is a clinical preventive practice that helps identify patients at risk for developing serious health problems. Using a validated set of screening questions to identify patients’ drinking patterns and having a short conversation with patients who are drinking too much takes only a few minutes and can reduce the costs related to the long-term consequences of excessive alcohol use.
Enhancing the Role of Medical Assistants (Toolkit) is a product of the Mountain Plains Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Practice and Implementation Center (PIC) through funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The purpose of this Toolkit is to be a user-friendly guide to help healthcare professionals understand FASDs and the importance of reducing risky alcohol use by their patients and provide resources to enhance the scope of the primary care interprofessional team by including medical assistants in the alcohol SBI process. Although geared towards medical assistants, all healthcare professionals can benefit from the variety of resources included in this guide. The goal of this Toolkit is to ensure widespread implementation and sustainability of the alcohol SBI model by enhancing the role of medical assistants as part of the interprofessional healthcare team.
To learn more about how to utilize the FASD Toolkit view the introductory video below.