SBAR is a communication tool that is widely used in the medical field to strengthen communication between staff and supervisors. This article will discuss the role of an SBAR in the healthcare and business industry, its meaning, and its various types. sbar

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SBAR Definition & Meaning

SBAR is an acronym that stands for situation, background, assessment, and recommendation.

SBAR is a technique or a practice utilized by nurses and physicians to share patients’ information effectively.

What is a SBAR?

SBAR is a standardized communication model endorsed by the Joint Commission and was first introduced at Kaiser Permanente in 2003 as a simple and easy tool that nurses can use to relay clear messages to doctors. While nurses are trained to be precise with taking down notes of patient observations, physicians typically require a report that is concise and clear to eliminate the excess time that could be allotted for doctor-to-patient consultation or, in worse cases, immediate operation. SBARs narrow the gap between these two communication styles.

10 Types of SBAR

Nursing SBAR

Nursing SBAR is a framework that structures the conversation between nurses and physicians. According to Darby Faubion, BSN, RN, this communication tool was first introduced to this particular medical field by the rapid response team at Kaiser Permanente in 2003 to investigate patient safety. The nursing SBAR narrows the gap between nurses’ and physicians’ communication types since the latter prefers concise explanations of events.


Business SBAR

The business SBAR ensures focus and energy which in return adds value to a particular aspect of the company. It also enables success by allowing team members’ creativity to transpire because they are encouraged to fit all the necessary information into a brief but comprehensible report. Moreover, infusing the SBAR into company practices develops employees’ critical thinking skills and initiative, which are skills that are substantial to any company.


Pharmacy SBAR

Pharmacy SBAR allows pharmacists to go directly into analyzing an issue and focusing on providing a resolution. This is important in a pharmacy setting because people do not usually come in with the intention of having a sit-down consultation unlike in a hospital set-up. This is where the SBAR becomes convenient because the communication model identifies the key problem of a situation and provides an answer without going around the bush.


Restaurant SBAR

Restaurant SBAR is convenient, especially for the service crew members, because this communication model guides their thought processes and enhances their problem-solving skills. The restaurant setting accommodates everyone and therefore welcomes people from all walks of life with different interests and preferences. A situation may come up out of the blue and the SBAR helps service crew members to detect the issue and provide an immediate action.


Patient SBAR

The patient SBAR is a validated communication tool that is implemented in the hospital for sharing information about a patient among medical professionals. The SBAR, however, has limitations of use in patients who have a complex medical history and those who are in critical care. Nonetheless, the said communication tool is still practiced on common patients and provides valuable help to nurses.


Critical Care SBAR

Critical Care SBAR is a design that improves the communication quality between nurses and doctors assigned in the Intensive Care Unit. This lessens the safety risk of the patient in the ICU by hindering delayed and inaccurate information which are examples of communication failure that could lead to medical errors. These errors must be avoided at all costs to prevent damage to facilities and equipment and, most importantly, to secure human life.


Pediatrics SBAR

Pediatrics SBAR is basically a communication tool intended or utilized for pediatricians. It makes dealing with problems and diagnoses concerning infants and children more efficient and, relatively, easier than using other communication techniques. This also makes handovers of children’s records, regardless of age, convenient for nurses assigned to pediatrics.


Psychiatric SBAR

Psychiatric SBAR is an effective tool for improving communication and patient outcomes, according to a study by Benjamin Janaway, et al. However, based on their findings, this particular communication tool is poorly used in psychiatry, therefore leading to adverse results. Nevertheless, studies are still conducted to encourage the use of SBAR in this specific medical field.


Mental Health SBAR

The use of Mental Health SBAR increased the confidence, ability to solve problems, and comfort of mental health intake professionals, based on the study conducted by Rhonda Brown in 2019. Aside from that, there was also an increase in mental health knowledge about a patient during the patient handoff with a psychiatrist. In short, the study proves that facilitating SBAR in the mental health field is useful and productive.


Handoff SBAR

The handoff SBAR is just like the common tool or technique used in other fields. This functions as a communication tool that makes it easier for the next nurse assigned to understand the data input by the previous nurse. A handoff SBAR is just a particular label assigned during a handoff.


SBAR Uses, Purpose, Importance

Practicing SBAR in the workplace can do more good than harm. It elevates and eases the transition of patient information from the nurses to the doctors. Below are a few of the significance of SBAR:

Promotes Accuracy

There is less room for human error since this communication tool is standardized which then promotes accuracy. According to the Institute of Innovation and Improvement, the SBAR prevents the use of assumptions and vagueness that occurs sometimes. In other words, it hinders the process of “hinting and hoping.”

Prevents Breakdowns

This feature of SBAR refers to written and verbal communication. In context, it creates a shared mental model around patient handovers and the critical exchange of information. Therefore, nurses or caregivers do not waste much time breaking down the data they receive to fish out the key information they need.

Levels Traditional Hierarchy

This is one example that exhibits the power of language and communication. With the standardized use of SBAR, the traditional hierarchy among medical professionals, particularly in a hospital setting, is leveled. SBAR builds a common language that for relaying critical events and breaks communication barriers.

Quickens Handovers

Because SBAR is modeled to be accurate and simple, the data that needs to be recorded is identified easily. This means that nurses save time from breaking down the information they receive. In return, the handover becomes quick and smooth between shifts.

Reduces Adverse Events

Ultimately, the SBAR model prevents adverse events which is most important in the hospital. It is effective in escalating problems that need quick responses or immediate attention. This makes mistakes and ambiguous information less probable to happen.

What’s in aSBAR? Parts?


This is allotted for a concise description of the problem.


Clear and brief information related to the situation is logged here.


This is where the analysis and considerations of options are seen.


This area in the form or sheet is where the patient’s requested action is placed.


How to Design a SBAR?

1. Choose a SBAR size.

2. Determine the purpose of the SBAR.

3. Select an SBAR template.

4. Collect the information delivered by the patient.

5. Identify the data needed based on the communication tool.

6. Write or input those data on each part of the SBAR.



SBAR pertains to the communication technique used by medical professionals to improve workplace communication, both written and verbal, and to assess patient issues effectively and immediately.

Meanwhile, SOAP is an acronym for subjective, objective, assessment, and plan, which is a method used by healthcare professionals for documentation.

What’s the Difference Between SBAR, IPAAS, and Nursing?

SBAR is a tool or practice standardized for better communication within the medical field.

IPAAS or Integration Platform as a Service, according to Gartner Glossary, is a suite of cloud services enabling the development, execution, and governance of integration flows connecting any combination of on-premises and cloud-based processes, services, applications, and data within individual or across multiple organizations.

Nursing refers to the profession of providing care for the sick.

SBAR Sizes

The SBAR sizes, just as it is standardized, use the standard size of papers or documents. The following are sizes used to create SBARs:


SBAR Ideas & Examples

SBARs can be used for different professions and purposes. These are some SBAR ideas and examples to be checked out:

  • Assessment SBAR Ideas and Examples
  • Nursing Handover SBAR Ideas and Examples
  • Physician SBAR Ideas and Examples
  • Project Manager SBAR Ideas and Examples
  • Hospital SBAR Ideas and Examples
  • Communication SBAR Ideas and Examples
  • Blank SBAR Ideas and Examples
  • Sample SBAR Ideas and Examples
  • Simple SBAR Ideas and Examples


What is the SBAR technique in nursing?

The SBAR technique in nursing refers to accumulating data and reports based on the patient’s concerns as clearly and concisely as possible.

What does the situation mean in SBAR?

The situation section in the SBAR is where you put a concise statement of the patient’s problem.

How do you write a good SBAR?

A good SBAR can be considered as a report that includes the key details of an issue, may it be in a business or hospital setting, that helps the people in charge of analyzing them to provide an accurate and immediate solution.

What are the 4 steps of SBAR?

The four steps of SBAR are the following: situation, where you write the problem concisely; background, where a brief description of the patient’s problem is presented; assessment, where the analysis of the patient’s situation is written; and recommendation, where the recommended action or support is.

How do you create an effective SBAR?

Basically, you create an effective SBAR by mainly following the requirements of the communication model: include the information that is necessary for analyzing and making an accurate diagnosis.

What is the background in SBAR?

The background in SBAR is where the summarized description of the situation based on the patient’s statements can be placed and your own observation can also be included here.

Why SBAR communication is important in nursing?

SBAR communication is important in nursing because it aids nurses and other healthcare professionals in documenting a medical situation which then would help physicians immediately determine the gravity of the situation and the immediate action needed to be done.

What are the main skills nurses require for SBAR?

The main skills required for nurses to effectively facilitate the SBAR are critical thinking skills, comprehension, attentiveness, observational skills, and problem-solving skills.

What is SBAR in healthcare?

SBAR is an important communication tool that is utilized to improve the overall healthcare amenities.

What is an assessment in SBAR?

The assessment in SBAR is where you document your analysis of the situation and the options that could be considered to give a solution to the issue.

What is a recommendation in the SBAR?

The recommendation in the SBAR is where you put the considered actions or steps to be done in order to resolve an issue as quickly and as accurately as possible.

Why do you use SBAR in business?

Despite being standardized for the benefit of healthcare professionals, the SBAR can also be significant in the business field because the communication model allows its users to apply it in different contexts such as but not limited to organizational management, risk reduction plans in the company, or team member assessments.

How does SBAR function in the corporate field?

The SBAR functions in the corporate field as a communication model for making efficient and synthesized reports about a project or meeting that does not consume much time for interpretation and comprehension.

What to consider when making a SBAR?

You have to consider the brevity, efficiency, and clarity of the content of SBAR so that the person receiving it will be able to comprehend the report in a short period of time and come up with a precise answer to the issue presented or handed to them.

How does an SBAR help doctors?

SBARs help doctors in a way that they will no longer take time to comprehend the situation because the reports given to them are already outlined and summarized compared to narrative reports that usually take time to understand.