New Lenox Hill Emergency Center in Manhattan Will Implement Routine Screening for Substance Use into Care Management | CASAColumbia

New Lenox Hill Emergency Center in Manhattan Will Implement Routine Screening for Substance Use into Care Management

New Lenox Hill Emergency Center in Manhattan Will Implement Routine Screening for Substance Use into Care Management

CASAColumbia—in partnership with the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and North-Shore Long Island Jewish Health System—has implemented routine screening for substance use into seven health facilities in the New York region, including the new Lenox Hill HealthPlex emergency department.

Now, patients age 18 and older who visit one of the participating health facilities will be asked several questions about their use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs. If the patient’s answers indicate risky alcohol or drug use, they will be approached by a health coach during their visit.

The health coach will assess the patient for risky substance use. If indicated, the coach will provide feedback to the patient about their substance use, which includes highlighting the potential negative health effects. If the assessment shows a patient has a high level of risk, the health coaches will also refer the patient to an addiction treatment provider.

Individuals who need a referral to an addictions treatment provider won’t just be handed a list of treatment providers and their telephone numbers to call on their own time. Instead, the health coach will help the patients locate a specific treatment facility in their area to make an appointment. 

“Routine screening can identify risky substance use, which allows for early intervention and treatment services, so there is a huge need for this type of care to be integrated in an emergency room,” said Dr. Megan O’Grady, Research Scientist at CASAColumbia. “But routine screening typically just doesn’t happen.”   

This project is hoping to change that, and make routine screening a standard within the health care community.

CASAColumbia will be conducting an evaluation of the program’s effectiveness. As part of this evaluation, 10% of patients who screen positive will be asked to participate in a follow-up interview. This data will be analyzed to understand the impact of the program on patient’s substance use, along with other areas, including their physical and mental health.

The program has screened over 25,000 patients since the program started in December 2013.

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