Use of SBAR Tool to Improve Nurse-Physician Communications

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Christina E. Gresh, MSN, BSN, RN
Department of Home Care, Abington Health, Lansdale, PA, USA

Purpose: The purpose of this action research study is to examine if the use of SBAR improves communications between nurses and physicians on a 56 bed medical-surgical unit in a suburban teaching hospital.

Methods: An action research approach was utilized to educate nurses on use of the SBAR tool in their communication interactions with physicians. After implementing SBAR, the effectiveness of the tool was evaluated by the number of Serious Safety Events (SSE) which have                 occurred. A SSE is an incident that causes harm to the patient. Using SBAR can help diminish the occurrences of SSEs. The goal is to have 365 days without an SSE.

Results: The findings in this preliminary study reveal that the SBAR tool can help improve nurse-physician communications. When SBAR is implemented in nurse-physician interactions, key information is able to be transmitted efficiently, thus reducing the chances of negative                outcomes.

Conclusion: Given the number of adverse events which can occur in the healthcare setting, the use of SBAR in communication interactions between nurses and physicians can help to significantly reduce negative outcomes. Nurses need to be encouraged to continue                                  communicating with physicians in the SBAR format in the future. Effective communications between nurses and physicians is valuable, due to the beneficial results it generates for patients and healthcare professionals.