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SAMHSA issues sample scripts for integrated care conversations

Part of integrating primary and behavioral health care is learning how to talk about health conditions in a holistic way. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency and the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) have developed sample scripts to help guide providers and patients alike in making communication seamless – from addressing specific health topics to explaining what integrated care is and keeping team members informed.

Help and Healing: Resources for Depression Care and Recovery provides talking points for team care, strategies for patient and family education, and fact sheets on depression.

Sample Motivational Interviewing Questions and Statements can help primary care clinicians and other providers get acquainted with the technique and review statements that encourage collaborative dialogue, reflective listening and behavior change.
The Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention Guide for public health practitioners includes a step-by-step breakdown of how to conduct a screening for alcohol use, including talking points to appropriately discuss low risk drinking.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s resource guide for Screening for Drug Use in General Medical Settings outlines prompts for asking patients about drug use.
Learn how to bring up the spiritual aspect of a person’s health, including some suggested questions, in the addressing spirituality edition of our eSolutions newsletter.

AHRQ’s SHARE Approach is a five-step process for shared decision making that includes resources for clinicians and patients on how to engage in meaningful dialogue about what matters most to the patient by exploring and comparing the benefits, harms and risks of health care decisions.
California’s Integrated Behavioral Health Project created a series of Sample Scripts and Procedures for ensuring successful warm hand-offs between primary and behavioral health care staff.
Behavioral health providers can brush up on how to share relevant patient information with primary care providers by reviewing the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s SBAR Technique for Communication tool.

The Primary Behavioral Health Care Practice Services Manual includes a sample introductory script for a Behavioral Health Consultant in a primary care setting (see appendix 2) to explain their role to the individual receiving care.

Individuals can use resources such as AHRQ’s Question Builder to prepare a list of questions for their next medical appointment or the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine’s Questions to Ask to start a discussion about alternative treatments.

The Joint Commission’s Speak Up™ patient safety program materials encourage patients to ask, participate and engage with providers at every step of their care.

The Whole Health Action Management curriculum handouts include scenarios to role play shared decision-making, outlines important questions to ask about medical tests and tips for getting ready for doctor’s appointments.
Parents can look to page 19 of the National Alliance for Mental Illness’ Family Guide to Integrating Mental Health and Pediatric Primary Care for a sample list of questions to ask pediatricians about features of integrated care.

Click here for more information from SAMHSA and HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions.

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