Saint Anne’s Hospital utilizes SBIRT Model and Nasal Narcan Pilot Program to provide quality treatment for at-risk patients

Picture of St. Anne's Hospital in Fall River

According to Brittany Lynch, a Health Promotion Advocate at Saint Anne’s Hospital, the Nasal Narcan Pilot Program has helped enhance the use of the SBIRT (Screening Brief Intervention Referral to Treatment) model at the hospital. Using this model, one is able to assess an individual’s involvement in a risky behavior, discuss the positive and negative aspects of this behavior with the individual, and create a change plan in hopes of changing the behavior through either treatment or other available resources. Brittany explains that the SBIRT model is a great tool for anyone in the health care field to use to help an individual or their family members create an effective change plan for any risky behavior.

If an individual is identified as having a current or past opioid abuse problem, Saint Anne’s is now able to provide them with training on how to use nasal Narcan. The individual would then have a tool to bring out into their community that they could use when witnessing or experiencing an opioid overdose. While this tool can be extremely effective in reversing an opioid overdose, there are challenges to training the patients. First, some patients will refuse the training and, therefore, are unable to bring the Narcan out into their community. Another barrier is that Brittany is the only Health Promotion Advocate at Saint Anne’s who is qualified to give the training to patients, so if she is unavailable the patient is unable to receive this resource.

Despite the challenges, the use of the SBIRT model and Narcan program in the hospital has been very successful. Brittany recalls a woman who had been in and out of the hospital due to overdosing multiple times. Using the SBIRT model she was able to develop a change plan for this patient and helped her get into detox. At a later time, this patient was seen at a community event at which the patient explained that she had been sober for three months and expressed her gratitude for the hospital’s help and services. This is just one example of how the SBIRT model allows for health care advocates and providers to serve community members to the best of their ability. As a result of using the SBIRT tool, individuals are able to identify and take the necessary steps to make positive changes that can greatly improve their lives.