Background A key feature in patient safety is clear communication. In recent years the SBAR tool (situation, background, assessment and recommendation) has been advocated as a means of standardising communication when seeking advice form a senior member of the team.
Aims and objectives The aim of the present study is to assess the impact of using the SBAR communication tool for verbal discussion of obstetric emergency cases during on call duties.
Methods Our study was divided into three phases. Phase I (1 month) involved the development of an assessment of a communication form. The measurable outcomes recorded were the satisfaction from each communication event (minimum–maximum, 1–10, visual analogue scale) and the number of supplementary questions required to reach a clinical decision. Phase II (2 weeks), involved the education of medical staff. In Phase III (1 month), the use of SBAR was assessed. StatsDirect was used for statistical analysis.
Results and conclusions The mean satisfaction rate showed statistically significant improvement with the introduction of SBAR. (7.2±0.22, n=74, vs 9.2±0.8, n=22, p<0.0001. The mean number of supplementary questions was also reduced (1.4±0.24 vs 0.65±0.22). Simple linear regression between the satisfaction rates and number of supplementary questions showed a negative relationship (r=−0.69). This is the first study, in which the SBAR tool is used in obstetrics. Our results suggest that it has a role in our everyday practice and we recommend its widespread use.
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