Alcohol and Health Implementation Guide for Primary Care

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Between May 2021 and August 2022, the Michigan Sustained Patient Centered Alcohol Related Care (MI-SPARC) initiative was introduced in primary care practices across the state. Through this program, providers received instruction on recognizing and treating unhealthy alcohol use. They also received technical assistance on implementing screening, brief preventative counseling, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) in their daily patient visit workflows independently This guide covers recommended drinking limits, SBIRT, tips for addressing risky drinking with patients, and information about treatment options, including directions to moderate their drinking, counseling, and medication-assisted treatment that primary care clinicians can manage. In addition, it also contains tools and resources that can be useful for implementing the program into practice. Note this program is tailored to the needs of an adult patient population aged 18-75 and does not cover how to address alcohol use in adolescents. The guide can be used by any primary care clinic or those assisting primary care providers who wish to initiate a behavioral health component or enhance their existing program. As with any workflow or improvement project, it is necessary to provide information to all office staff (both clinical and administrative) about why the project is essential and how uptake can positively affect patient outcomes. While fielding the MI-SPARC initiative, providers were initially quite hesitant about their capability to discuss the sensitive topic of alcohol use with their patients. However, after arming them with the tools and resources in this guide, they felt equipped to offer care to their patients in this domain.

Click here to get the full PDF version of the Alcohol and Health Implementation Guide for Primary Care.