Table 1

SBAR communication technique, adapted table 16 18 63 64

SSituationWhat is going on with the patient? What is the situation you are calling/communicate about?First, the speaker presents the situation, by identifying himself, stating the patient’s name and briefly describing the problem ‘Dr Preston, I’m calling about Mr Lakewood, who’s having trouble breathing’
BBackgroundWhat is the background or context on this patient?The speaker then provides the background, such as the patient’s diagnosis or reason for admission, medical status and relevant history. The patient’s chart is reviewed and questions the other care provider may have are anticipated ‘He’s a 54 year old man with chronic lung disease who has been sliding downhill, and now he’s acutely worse’
AAssessmentWhat is the problem?Then specific information on vital signs, recent laboratories and other quantitative or qualitative data related to the patient’s current state are provided. This section can include a provisional diagnosis or clinical impression ‘I don’t hear any breath sounds in his right chest. I think he has a pneumothorax’
RRecommendationWhat is the next step in the management of the patient?An informed suggestion for the continued care of the patient has to be made by the speaker. The immediate need is explained clearly and specifically, including what is necessary to address the problem ‘I need you to see him right now. I think he needs a chest tube’
  • The tool is available for download from the website of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.9