Screening, Brief Intervention & Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)

Data Transparency Measure:
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What is SBIRT? Why screen?
SBIRT stands for "Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment." SBIRT is an evidence-based practice used to identify, reduce, and prevent problematic use, abuse, and dependence on alcohol and illicit drugs.
SBIRT is not a single assessment tool, but a comprehensive approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment services for persons with substance use disorders. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) summarizes the reason for each step in the SBIRT process:

  • Screening: Quickly assesses the severity of substance use and identifies the appropriate level of treatment.
  • Brief intervention: Focuses on increasing insight and awareness regarding substance use and motivation toward behavioral change.
  • Referral to treatment: Provides those identified as needing more extensive treatment with access to specialty care.
According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), more than 22 million people aged 12 years or older have a diagnosable alcohol or illicit drug use disorder. Sadly, for many treatment has either not been offered or has not been sought. In 2010, more than 20 million of those 12 years of age and older needed, but did not receive, substance use treatment at a specialty facility in the last year.
Data from SAMHSA shows that SBIRT has a positive impact on patient health.  Read more about the impact in the SBIRT Fact Sheet provided by the ONDCP. By practicing SBIRT, clinics increase access to care for those diagnosed with, or at risk for, substance use disorders.


UDS Definition 2017
CLICK HERE to see the following documentaion from OHA regarding the SBIRT definition. 
What action can we take as a clinic to improve this measure?

 Helpful materials for taking action:

For more information on this measure, refer to the links below:

*Note: SBIRT has been removed as a CCO incentive measure for 2017.



Have an article, workflow, tool or anything else that you would like to share with other clinics about this measure? Email the Data Transparency Team at .