SBAR (Situation; Background; Assessment; Recommendation)
|Contact information:||NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, UK
|Originally developed by:||IHI (US) and
NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement (UK)
|Country of origin:||US|
|Year of development:||Approximately 2005|
|Last updated:||No information available|
|Next update:||No information available|
|Available in the following languages:||English|
Type of tool: tool for reminding staff in the workplace
SBAR is an easy to remember mechanism that you can use to frame conversations, especially critical ones, requiring a clinician’s immediate attention and action. It enables you to clarify what information should be communicated between members of the team, and how. It can also help you to develop teamwork and foster a culture of patient safety.
The tool consists of standardised prompt questions within four sections, to ensure that staff are sharing concise and focused information. It allows staff to communicate assertively and effectively, reducing the need for repetition.
The tool is to be used by
- clinicians during handover situations
- urgent or non urgent communications
- conversations with a physician, either in person or over the phone
- Particularly useful in nurse to doctor communications
- also helpful in doctor to doctor consultation
- discussions with allied health professionals
– Respiratory therapy
- conversations with peers
– change of shift reports
- escalating a concern.
|Applicability (setting e.g. inpatient care, outpatient care, long term care etc.)|
Inpatient or outpatient care
|Information on how the tool has been applied/tested in practice|
Originally used in the military and aviation industries, SBAR was developed for healthcare by Dr M Leonard and colleagues from Kaiser Permanente in Colorado, USA. In one healthcare setting, the incidence of harm to patients fell by 50 per cent after implementing SBAR.
|Needed resources (financial, material, human)|
Some training in the use and benefits of the tool is required – this should take no more than 30 minutes.
|Needed time for implementation|
Introduction and training: 30 minutes;
Using the tool: short; Conversation: 15 minutes approximately
|Strengths and limitations|
The tool helps staff anticipate the information needed by colleagues and encourages assessment skills. Using SBAR prompts staff to formulate information with the right level of detail.