SafetyFirst: SBAR

February 20, 2012 No Comments   

SafetyFirst: SBAR

How do you update a physician about a patient concern? What do you say to your manager or supervisor when you are troubled about a situation? Making communications clear and complete is easier when we all learn and adopt the safety behavior known as SBAR: Situation, Background, Assessment and Recommendation.

SBAR is a helpful tool for everyone to use when a decision is needed. Here’s an example:

  1. Situation. Describe the situation or issue that is causing you concern: Mr. Smith’s blood glucose levels are dangerously high and the current dose of medication he’s on isn’t bringing them down.
  2. Background. What is the key information about the patient or project that should be conveyed to a physician or team member?: As you may recall, Dr. Martinez, Mr. Smith
    had knee replacement surgery yesterday and is a type 2 diabetic.
  3. Assessment. What is your assessment of the situation?: I’m concerned that Mr. Smith’s blood glucose isn’t responding to the current medications.
  4. Recommendation. What do you advise or suggest?: I think his medications need to be adjusted, Dr. Martinez. Do you agree? What is the dosage you recommend?

Situation, Background, Assessment and Recommendation—SBAR—is one of the seven safety behaviors we’re learning and adopting. It’s an important part of SafetyFirst — and it’s one step in our safety journey.

Watch for more information about safety and error prevention techniques to put into practice as part of the SafetyFirst initiative!

Click here for a worksheet you can use to review SBAR with your staff.
Click here for a flyer you can post about SBAR.

Patient Care

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