Magazine article The Alcoholism Report

Initial Results from New York Hospital Intervention Program Termed Positive

Magazine article The Alcoholism Report

Initial Results from New York Hospital Intervention Program Termed Positive

Article excerpt

Initial Results From New York Hospital Intervention Program Termed Positive

The New York State Division of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (DAAA) reported that early returns from its Hospital Intervention System (HIS) for screening of general hospital admissions for alcohol problems suggest that it has "the potential to have a significant positive impact on the health care system."

A synopsis of the "Formative HIS Report" made available to AR said that "although very early, the initial data indicate the model works in identifying and referring to treatment alcoholic patients who would otherwise pass through the hospital system unrecognized."

The DAAA instituted the HIS Demonstration Program last year following a report to the New York Commissioner of Health indicating that alcohol abuse results in more than 1.3 million days of hospital care and 762,000 emergency room visits in New York State each year. The cost of this hospital-based health care alone was estimated to exceed $500 million annually.

The HIS model provides for active screening of all general hospital admissions, identifying and referring to treatment those whose alcohol abuse causes and contributes to their medical condition. After only six months of test operation at seven project sites, preliminary results indicate that model is "effective," according to James N. Heckler, Health Intervention Specialist at DAAA. Quantifiable results of the pilot/test phase of the first six months of the operation, January-June, 1989, were listed as follows: * 849 alcoholics identified through June 30, 1989. …

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