After outcome data we also can examine more basic process data, which can be equally important for stakeholders when attempting to justify and/or support an existing project.
Of all of the patients who were registered for the clinic in such a way that they should have received SBIRT (i.e., patient over age 18 if the criterion is only adult patients), how many actually received SBIRT? This data can be difficult to capture because our experience (and that of other clinic sites) has been that physicians often fail to record SBIRT processes. It can be important to capture this data at multiple levels (i.e., front desk, MA station during triage, and at the physician level). This requires cross-checking but can be instrumental in determining whether SBIRT coverage at a clinic is adequate.
Sometimes, the way that SBIRT is integrated into a clinic will allow for the possibility that a physician will interrupt an SBIRT encounter and the counselor/health specialist will need to return to the patient after his/her scheduled medical appointment. This is typically the case when a non-physician is conducting the brief intervention/referral to treatment process. Stakeholders may be interested in how frequently this occurs, and it will be important in these cases to create a process that funnels such patients back into the SBIRT process upon their next visit (if a primary care site or other medical home).
Several publications and/or SBIRT sites have provided data on how long each component of SBIRT is estimated to take. However, stakeholders may be interested in localized data, which is relatively easy to collect. Areas that might reasonably be timed during a pilot test include prescreening time, screening time, and intervention/referral time. These data allow clinic managers and others know how to budget SBIRT within their own process flows.
All of the data listed here is very short term. There are longer term and much more complex means of analysis (i.e., tracking multiple medical variables post-SBIRT) but these data are not utilized immediately upon start up, though your organization may want to plan to collect these data to bolster arguments for program sustainability.