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SBAR, an acronym that stands for: Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation, is a technique used for prompt and appropriate communication in the health care organizations.[1] It is modeled upon naval military procedures and was adapted to health care by Michael Leonard, Doug Bonacum, and Suzanne Graham of Kaiser Permanente.

Example points to include[edit]

The SBAR system is used to create a structured and standardized communication format between health care workers. It is particularly useful for reporting changes in a patient's status and / or deterioration between health care services or shifts. The most common use of SBAR is during nursing shift changes. Other common uses of SBAR include changes of services. For example, a patient is having a diagnostic imaging procedure in medical imaging.

The following is a breakdown for each SBAR element:


  • Identify the person to whom you are speaking
  • Identify yourself, occupation and where you are calling from
  • Identify the patient by name, age, sex, reason for admission
  • Identify what is going on with the patient (Chest pain, nausea, etc...)


  • Give the patient's presenting complaint
  • Give the patient's relevant past medical history
  • Brief summary of background,



  • Explanation of what you require, how urgent and when action needs to be taken
  • Make suggestions of what action is to be taken
  • Clarify what action you expect to be taken


  1. ^ Velji, K; Baker GR, Fancott C et al. (2008). "Effectiveness of an Adapted SBAR Communication Tool for a Rehabilitation Setting". Healthcare Quarterly (Longwoods) 11 (Spec.): 72–79. PMID 18382165. 

Further reading[edit]

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