Inpatient Psychiatry, Nursing, Readmission, SBIRT, Substance Use



  1. Kracher, Stacy PMHNP-BC, PMHCNS-BC
  2. Bayette, Lorrie RN, BSN, BC
  3. Young, Doris MIA, OTR/L
  4. Goebert, Deborah A. DrPH
  5. Guerrero, Maria PhD, MT-BC
  6. Agapoff, Jame A. MS, MD


Background: Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) has been established as an effective screening tool for providing interventions for patients with risky substance use.


Objectives: The objectives of this project were to train and coach staff nurses in the use of SBIRT, offer SBIRT to all admissions of a brief psychiatric inpatient unit, and decrease readmission rates.


Design: Using the Iowa Model for Implementing Evidence-Based Practices, SBIRT was implemented on the unit. Data were collected on the frequency of patients offered SBIRT and readmission rates.


Results: Fifty-nine percent of all admissions were offered SBIRT. The average readmission rates decreased by 18.3% for the first 2 months of implementation and by 67.5% for Days 16-31 postdischarge.


Conclusions: SBIRT is an effective tool for nurses on psychiatric units to address substance use and to decrease readmission rates.