Home Health & Hospice

Q: How can we implement the SBAR method of communication in our agency?

Homecare Insider, January 27, 2014

Q: How can we implement the SBAR method of communication in our agency?
 
A: Agency leadership must first make the decision to adopt SBAR. Once that decision is made, implementation must begin by making the case for SBAR to staff, physicians, referral sources, discharge planners, and other stakeholders. In doing so, ensure that everyone is on the same page as to what information will be standardized (i.e., appearing on every use of the tool) and what information may be customized for specific situations, such as transfers. The next essential step is training and education. Although the SBAR format appears simple, it is a standardized method; this means that everyone must utilize it in the same manner and must understand the tool's components and their rationale. Agency leadership should define their expectations, including required written tools, in agency policy.
 
Homecare agencies are unique in that their staff often perform independently-which is all the more reason to adopt SBAR as a communication tool. Caregivers need to stay in contact with each other and their supervisors. Changes in the plan of care must be relayed to team members and to the physician. Using a standard format can keep communication effective and efficient, as well as help ensure that patients receive appropriate care.
 
Learn more about the SBAR here!