Online Program

Sobering centers: Safe, effective care for the acutely intoxicated

Monday, November 4, 2013

Shannon Smith-Bernardin, PhD(c), CARN, RN, MSN, CNL, PHN, San Francisco Sobering Center, UCSF; SF Department of Public Health, San Francisco, CA
Megan Kennel, MSN, RN, PHN, San Francisco Sobering Center, San Francisco, CA
The San Francisco Sobering Center was created by the Department of Public Health in 2003 to improve care provided to homeless adults suffering from chronic alcoholism and decrease inappropriate utilization of emergency services. Providing a space for intoxicated individuals to sober from alcohol, this program provides a safe alternative to emergency department and jail services by accepting clients from ambulance, police, emergency department and community services. Serving over 1,500 individuals with up to 5,500 encounters annually, our program strives to decrease the impact of inebriation on both the individual and the community.

Over 10 years, sobering center staff has provided care to thousands of individuals presenting for over 30,000 client encounters. The Sobering Center operates with an RN/ MEA staffing model, enhancing clinical management, client engagement and care coordination for chronic inebriates. This poster will define the operation of the Sobering Center, including budget and financial considerations.

We work collaboratively with emergency services, police, substance abuse services, case managers and social workers, public health administrators, and community providers. The poster will cover the range of cooperative practices and relationships critical to successful care coordination,and our role in coordinated management of alcohol dependent individuals who frequently utilize city and community resources.

This poster will be relevant to persons interested in an innovative way to provide services to intoxicated clients, while decreasing inappropriate use of emergency services. We will provide a breakdown of our target population and services provided, describing direct care management and stakeholder relationships.

Learning Areas:

Program planning
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Define the essential goals, admission criteria and clinical considerations of a Sobering center. Discuss benefits of a Sobering center - including financial and health considerations - incorporating individual, hospital and community impact. Demonstrate measures of success for a sobering facility, by analyzing clinical and programmatic outcomes.

Keyword(s): Alcohol Problems, Homeless Health Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have run the SF Sobering Center for six years, providing leadership in staffing management, clinical protocol development, community relations, and with outreach and ongoing research. I initiated my doctoral program - PhD in Nursing, Health Policy at UCSF - in Fall 2012 in order to further develop my research capabilities and examine sobering facility use as an alternative to emergency department care.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.