Project to reduce alcohol-related harm named excellence award finalist

Group of staff in hospital room
FSH Senior Social Worker Ayla Walker, FSH Consultant Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist Dr Simon Hazeldine, FSH ED Nurse Unit Manager Carl Donoghue, FSH Clinical Nurse Blake Mulraney and Health Service Planner Imogen Davies were part of the ASBI project team
October 10, 2018

A project aimed at reducing alcohol-related harm through early identification is a South Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS) finalist in the 2018 WA Health Excellence Awards.

The Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention (ASBI) project was initiated by SMHS in response to the impact of alcohol-related ED presentations and inpatient admissions on the health service.

Between 2007 and 2011, there were 77,000 alcohol-related hospitalisations in WA, costing $478 million.

FSH Consultant Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist Dr Simon Hazeldine led the project.

“A model of alcohol screening was trialled in emergency settings at FSH and Rockingham General Hospital (RGH) to identify people with at-risk alcohol use,” Dr Hazeldine said.

“Those patients who were identified as at-risk were given a brief intervention (BI). We were able to directly inform patients, who might not necessarily seek treatment, about risks and consequences of high levels of alcohol consumption.”

During the project around 7 900 patients were screened at both hospitals, with 2 100 at-risk patients identified and provided with BI.  High risk patients were also referred to the Alcohol and Drug Clinical Nurse Consultant.

Significantly, there was an 88 per cent increase in alcohol-related referrals to the Alcohol and Other Drug Clinical Nurse Consultant at FSH.

Simon said ASBI in a hospital setting is feasible.

“Our evaluation indicated the project had a positive impact on drinking patterns of patients and has the potential to reduce longer-term health care costs for this cohort of patients,” he said.

The ASBI project was developed in partnership with WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) and supported by the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI).

The ASBI project is a finalist in the ‘Promotion of Preventative Health’ category. Winners will be announced at a gala dinner on 8 November.

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