Web-based SBIRT Curriculum Trains Primary Care Physicians

Bradley Tanner, M.D.

Bradley Tanner, M.D.

To bring more primary care physicians up to speed in addiction medicine, ASAM recently introduced a new online education curriculum in partnership with Clinical Tools, Inc., on Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT). The curriculum is located at SBIRTTraining.com.

The new training emerged from a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) contract awarded to Clinical Tools, Inc. (CTI). This new Web-based resource focuses on the areas of alcohol and tobacco and includes other substances of abuse as well, says Psychiatrist and CTI President Bradley Tanner, M.D. In addition to 4 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ , several types of continuing education credit are available for the program, including up to four prescribed credit(s) for the American Academy of Family Physicians, and credits for nurses and certified counselors. It also meets the New York State OASAS training requirement for SBIRT.

“This is a tool designed specifically for physicians outside the field of addiction medicine who want to advance their understanding and treatment in the patients they see,” Dr. Tanner says. “It’s important to recognize that technology can and should serve as a stable framework that supports researchers and clinicians in their roles.”

The CME activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the essential areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) by Clinical Tools, Inc.

While developing the online SBIRT training curriculum, CTI evaluated the program with 74 primary care providers. Significant improvements in knowledge and clinical skills assessments were found, Dr. Tanner notes. Additionally, nearly all participants intended to increase their use of SBIRT in cases related to tobacco, alcohol, and drug use and to follow up with patients after brief interventions or referral.

CTI develops scalable, usable, and broad Internet-based tools to improve the ability of physicians and other health care providers to care for patients. Clinical Tools, Inc., based in Chapel Hill, NC, is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians, and hosts and supports online training curricula, including SBIRTTraining.com and ASAM’s DATA 2000-Qualifying Buprenorphine Training Program, BupPractice.com. Dr. Tanner is trained in technological and curriculum development, evaluative research and partnerships, as well as being board-certified in psychiatry and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He was the Principal Investigator for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-funded contract that developed this product.

Both ASAM and Dr. Tanner advocate the Web-based skills training curriculum as an effective method of conferring the knowledge and skills necessary to deploy successful SBIRT interventions in primary care. Dr. Tanner says he plans to conduct future research on the success of the curriculum with specific medical specialties, such as OB/GYN, geriatric, and acute care, tailoring the tools as appropriate.

“The principles of SBIRT are effective across all areas of medicine, whether it’s in an urgent care setting or primary health clinic,” Dr. Tanner says. “So if we can arm a larger population within the medical community with the knowledge and skills they need to be effective, we’re helping patients and we’re holding down costs.”

When more primary care physicians master skills in SBIRT through the online ASAM-CTI tool, they will acquire greater confidence in knowing which patients should be referred to specialists for more extensive treatment Dr. Tanner says.

Dr. Tanner will provide a complete overview of the research behind the ASAM-CTI online training curriculum during his presentation of Poster 29, “Evaluation of a Web-based SBIRT Training Curriculum for Primary Care Providers: Improving Physicians’ Competence in Addiction Through Online Training,” from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. today in the Galleria Exhibit Hall.

The training was produced solely with funding from NIDA; a $75 user fee supports ongoing development and delivery of the training. Further information on the program is available at SBIRTTraining.com. Dr. Tanner says he hopes both the website and poster session will help primary care physicians understand the use of SBIRT’s benefits across all health care settings and the availability this new Web-based training tool to improve their knowledge and clinical skills in the area of addiction medicine.

“ASAM has a vision of continually enhancing education,” Dr. Tanner says. “This new resource will advance its objectives and overall mission.”

Other ASAM Med-Sci Conference sessions from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday will address SBIRT and serve as valuable sources of additional information: Symposium 9″Screening and Brief Interventions of Adolescents and Young Adults in General Medical Settings: Scientific Updates and Clinical Implications” in Grand Salon West, Salon E, and Course 8, “Biology, Buddha, and the Big Book” in Rooms 206-207. – See more at: http://asam-365.ascendeventmedia.com/Highlight.aspx?id=4427&p=368#sthash.TspJPNu3.dpuf