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Lektion 1, Thema 1
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SBAR Escalation Communication Tool

When escalating acutely unwell patients to other healthcare professionals it is important to use a structured and recognised communication technique. This allows staff to convey a large amount of information in a uniform, succinct and brief manner.

SBAR is the standard communication tool within Healthcare at Home for the clinical escalation of deteriorating patients, and allows the referrer to provide this information. SBAR stands for:

  • Situation
  • Background
  • Assessment
  • Recommendations.

It is essential that the referred has all of the information to hand before making the escalation referral.

Below is an example of how to structure an SBAR communication:


S Situation

Hello, my name is [your name] and I am a clinician from Healthcare at Home. I’m calling about [patient’s name and ID]. I have just completed a set of observations as part of [patient’s] care and I’m worried about … [Patient] has a NEWS score of [X] and has [describe what generated NEWS score]

B Background

[Patient’s name] has been receiving treatment from Healthcare at Home for [describe treatment] Patient’s medical history (where known). The patient’s normal condition is [described normal condition] Describe what has changed.

A Assessment

What I think the problem is [describe problem]. Describe clinical observations in detail, including contributing factors to NEWS score. Describe any other clinically significant details (i.e., mobility / pain / shortness of breath, etc.). Describe any actions that you have taken, i.e., stopped infusion, administered analgesia, etc..

R Recommendations

I would like you to advise me on how you would like me to proceed with this management of this patient. Be clear about what you want the clinician to whom you are referring to do, i.e., admit to hospital for immediate review, emergency admission via 999, etc..