Situational Briefing Model: (SBAR)

SBAR : Situation – Background – Assessment – Recommendation

The SBAR (Situation-Background-Assessment-Recommendation) technique provides a framework for communication between members of the health care team about a patient’s condition. SBAR is an easy-to-remember, concrete mechanism useful for framing any conversation, especially critical ones, requiring a clinician’s immediate attention and action. It allows for an easy and focused way to set expectations for what will be communicated and how between members of the team, which is essential for developing teamwork and fostering a culture of patient safety.

The purpose of the situational briefing model is to eliminate poor communication which is the root cause of many adverse events.

S * Situation: What is going on with the patient? What is the situation you are calling about? This includes patient identification information, code status, vitals, and the nurse’s concerns.

  • Identify self, unit, patient, room number.
  • Briefly state the problem, what is it, when it happened or started, and how severe.

B* Background: What is the key clinical background or context?

Pertinent background information related to the situation could include the following:

  • The admitting diagnosis and date of admission
  • List of current medications, allergies, IV fluids, and labs
  • Most recent vital signs
  • Lab results: provide the date and time test was done and results of pervious tests for comparison
  • Other clinical information
  • Code status

A* Assessment: What do I think the problem is? What is the nurse’s assessment of the situation? Here the nurse indicates what he or she believes to be the problem based on client history and current assessment.

R* Recommendation: What do I recommend or what do I want you to do? What is the nurse’s recommendation or what does he/she want?

Physician follow-up actions are suggested, including possible tests.

Examples:

  • Notification that patient has been admitted
  • Patient needs to be seen now
  • Order change
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