SBAR: Towards a common interprofessional team-based communication tool achieved the highest average downloads per month in 2016 when it was published in Medical Education journal's section, Really Good Stuff: Lessons learned from innovation in medical education. For that, the team comprising Lee Sin Yi, Dong Lijuan, Lim Yong Hao, Poh Chee Lien and Dr Lim Wee Shiong were awarded the Henry Walton Prize. Their article describes the incorporation of the communication technique, SBAR* (situation – background-assessment – recommendation) into the interprofessional leadership programme for first-level leaders, and reports on its utility for use by both clinical and non-clinical health professionals.
Lee Sin Yi, Senior Physiotherapist from TTSH tells us where SBAR can be used in our daily communication with colleagues.
In the hospital, for example, SBAR's use can be heard during conversations between nurses and doctors for example, when trying to communicate an urgent situation in which the patient's vital signs are unstable and deteriorating. In non-urgent situations, SBAR can also help to structure a conversation during a multidisciplinary round when a physiotherapist for instance, is attempting to communicate how the patient's function is improving and the rehabilitation goals.
We presented SBAR as a tool to facilitate communication between different professionals when we conducted IPLP, the interprofessional leadership programme for junior leaders. Participantstook it to their respective workplaces. They returned to the workshop with reflections on how they have used SBAR in clinical urgent and non-urgent and non-clinical situations. For instance, some non-clinical settings in which SBAR was applied were when participants used it to write a financial report or organise the contents of an email. All concluded that SBAR was a versatile tool that can be flexibly applied to different situations.
Try structuring your communications with colleagues around the following components and let us know where it took you.
Lee, S.Y., Dong, L., Lim, Y.H., Poh, C.L. & Lim, W.S. (2016). SBAR: Towards a common interprofessional team-based communication tool. Medical Education 50(11),1167–1168.