Box 15: SBAR
S – Situation: What is happening at the present time – ie, who you are, who the patient is, the patient’s location and current condition. Briefly state the problem and/or your concern clearly at this point.
B – Background: The circumstances leading up to this situation, ie, a brief summary of relevant past medical history, the admitting diagnosis, date of admission, prior procedures, current medications, allergies, pertinent laboratory results and other relevant diagnostic results. Include most recent vital signs, important observations outside normal parameters and your clinical impression.
A – Assessment: What you think the problem/diagnosis/appropriate management is, – eg, patient is deteriorating/stable, requires monitoring, is at risk of haemorrhage/shock.
R – Recommendation: What should be done to correct the problem/manage the patient/monitor the situation/maintain continuity of care – eg, awaiting lab results which must be acted upon as soon as they’re available, keep an eye on fluid balance, set up IV if necessary, watch for signs of internal haemorrhage.
(The SBAR tool originated in the US Navy SEALS and was adapted and developed for a healthcare setting by Kaiser Permanente.)