SBIRT Implementation and Process Change Manual for Practitioners

    Published: November 2012

    Despite evidence of its effectiveness for many substance users, implementation of SBIRT remains a challenge due to the many barriers that practitioners encounter, such as lack of physical space, competing patient care priorities, or buy-in from staff and leadership when attempting to change existing workflows and integrate behavioral health care into mainstream health care settings.


    This guide includes literature, resources and a toolkit that will help practitioners implement SBIRT. The manual is unique in that it suggests the use of a tailored implementation technique. It also includes checklists and worksheets to help with systems level change, an approach not found elsewhere.

    It will also help practitioners understand:

    • What SBIRT is and why it is important
    • Barriers to SBIRT implementation and how to overcome them
    • Process improvement strategies to make SBIRT implementation successful

    The manual is designed for physicians, nurses, physicians’ assistants, mental health practitioners, and administrators interested in integrating SBIRT into their practice. It provides a comprehensive SBIRT toolkit that focuses on implementing and sustaining SBIRT through process improvement strategies.

    Recommendations & Conclusions

    CASAColumbia encourages the implementation of SBIRT in health care settings. The SBIRT Implementation and Process Change Manual for Practitioners continues to be widely distributed across New York State and the nation to aid in the successful implementation of SBIRT in health care settings. The manual is promoted on various websites nationwide, including the Institute for Research, Education & Training in Addictions (IRETA), as part of SBIRT National Addiction Technical Transfer Center (ATTC). The manual is also available on the New York State OASAS SBIRT website and is currently being tested in emergency and primary care departments at North Shore-LIJ Health Systems.


    November 2012