Universal Screening

Embedding universal screening within patient intake process is a quick way to identify anyone who enters the ED with a potential substance use disorder. Furthermore, universal screening is an important step to normalizing substance use disorder as an illness that requires medical attention and intervention. Please refer to Standardized Screening + Assessment section for more information on screening and assessment measures.  

Key Takeaways for the ED

  1. Ahead of implementing screening, get buy-in and ownership from key staff, especially those responsible for administering the screening. 
  2. As much as possible, build universal screening into existing patient intake process. 
  3. In addition to evidenced-based screens, hospitals should flag specific labs and clinical features for potential intervention. 

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