Alcoholism, Early Medical Intervention, Mass Screening, Quality Improvement, Trauma Centers



  1. Harry, Melissa L. PhD, MSW
  2. Lake, Erica MLS
  3. Woehrle, Theo A. MPA
  4. Heger, Anna C. Mae BS
  5. Vogel, Linda E. APRN, CNS


Objective: The aim of this healthcare improvement project was to evaluate healthcare provider use of screening and brief interventions (SBIs) for patients screening positive for alcohol at an upper Midwestern adult trauma center transitioning from Level II to Level I.


Method: Trauma registry data for 2,112 adult patients with trauma who screened positive for alcohol were compared between three periods: pre-formal-SBI protocol (January 1, 2010, to November 29, 2011); first post-SBI protocol (February 6, 2012, to April 17, 2016) after protocol implementation, healthcare provider training, and documentation changes; and second post-SBI protocol (June 1, 2016, to June, 30, 2019) after additional training and process improvements. Data analysis included descriptive statistics and logistic regression for comparisons over time and between admitting services.


Results: For the trauma admitting service, SBI rates increased from 32% to 90% over time, compared with 18%-51% for other admitting services combined. Trauma-service-admitted patients screening positive for alcohol had higher odds of receiving a brief intervention than other admitting services in each period in adjusted models: pre-SBI (OR = 1.99, 95% CI [1.15, 3.43], p = .014), first post-SBI (OR = 2.89, 95% CI [2.04, 4.11], p < .001), and second post-SBI (OR = 11.40, 95% CI [6.27, 20.75], p < .001) protocol periods. Within trauma service admissions, first post-SBI protocol (OR = 2.15, 95% CI [1.64, 2.82], p < .001) and second post-SBI protocol (OR = 21.56, 95% CI [14.61, 31.81], p < .001) periods had higher rates and odds of receiving an SBI than the pre-SBI protocol period.


Conclusion: The number of SBIs completed with alcohol-positive adult patients with trauma significantly increased over time through SBI protocol implementation, healthcare provider training, and process improvements, suggesting other admitting services with lower SBI rates could adopt similar approaches.