The Implementation of an Integrated Information System for Substance Use Screening in General Medical Settings
09 April 2014
accepted: 28 September 2014
19 December 2017 (online)
The Massachusetts Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (MASBIRT) Program, a substance use screening program in general medical settings, created a web-based, point-of-care (POC), application – the MASBIRT Portal ( the “Portal”) to meet program goals.
Objectives: We report on development and implementation of the Portal.
Methods: Five year program process outcomes recorded by an independent evaluator and an anonymous survey of Health Educator’s (HEs) adoption, perceptions and Portal use with a modified version of the Technology Readiness Index are described.  Specific management team members, selected based on their roles in program leadership, development and implementation of the Portal and supervision of HEs, participated in semi-structured, qualitative interviews.
Results: At the conclusion of the program 73% (24/33) of the HEs completed a survey on their experience using the Portal. HEs reported that the Portal made recording screening information easy (96%); improved planning their workday (83%); facilitated POC data collection (84%); decreased time dedicated to data entry (100%); and improved job satisfaction (59%). The top two barriers to use were “no or limited wireless connectivity” (46%) and “the tablet was too heavy/bulky to carry” (29%). Qualitative management team interviews identified strategies for successful HIT implementation: importance of engaging HEs in outlining specifications and workflow needs, collaborative testing prior to implementation and clear agreement on data collection purpose, quality requirements and staff roles.
Discussion: Overall, HEs perceived the Portal favorably with regard to time saving ability and improved workflow. Lessons learned included identifying core requirements early during system development and need for managers to institute and enforce consistent behavioral work norms.
Conclusion: Barriers and HEs’ views of technology impacted the utilization of the MASBIRT Portal. Further research is needed to determine best approaches for HIT system implementation in general medical settings.
Citation: Shanahan CW, Sorensen-Alawad A, Carney BL, Persand I, Cruz A, Botticelli M, Pressman K, Adams WG, Brolin M, Alford DP. The implementation of an integrated information system for substance use screening in general medical settings. Appl Clin Inf 2014; 5: 878–894
KeywordsHealth information technology - database - medical informatics - technology acceptance - substance abuse - SBIRT
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