Evaluation of a Modified SBAR Report to Physician Tool to Standardize Communication on Neonatal Transport Academic Article uri icon

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  • Objective SBAR (situation, background, assessment and recommendation) is a structured format for the effective communication of critically relevant information. This tool was developed as a generic template to provide structure to the communication of clinical information between health care providers. Neonatal transport often presents clinically stressful circumstances where concise and accurate information is required to be shared clearly between multidisciplinary health care providers. A modified SBAR communication tool was designed to facilitate structured communication between nonphysician bedside care providers operating from remote sites and physicians providing decision-making support at receiving care facilities. Prospective interventional study was designed to evaluate the reliability of a “SBAR report to physician tool” in sharing clinically relevant information between multidisciplinary care providers on neonatal transport. Study Design The study was conducted between 2011 and 2014 by a dedicated neonatal transport service based at McMaster Children's Hospital which provides care for approximately 500 infants in Southern Ontario annually. In the preintervention phase, 50 calls were randomly selected for the evaluation and 115 consecutively recorded transport calls following adoption of the reporting tool. The quality of calls prior to and after the intervention was assessed by reviewers independently. Inter-rater agreement was also assessed for both periods. Results Inter-rater agreement between raters was moderate to perfect in most components of the SBAR “report to the physician tool” except for the assessment component, which showed fair agreement during both preintervention and postintervention periods. There was an improvement in global score (primary outcome) with a mean difference of 0.95 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.77–1.14; p < 0.001) and in cumulative score with a mean difference of 8.55 (95% CI: 7.26–9.84; p < 0.001) in postintervention period. Conclusion The use of the SBAR report to physician tool improved the quality of clinical information shared between nonphysician members of the neonatal transport team and neonatal transport physicians. Key Points


  • Shahid, Shaneela
  • Thabane, Lehana
  • Marrin, Michael
  • Schattauer, Karen
  • Silenzi, Laurel
  • Borhan, Sayem
  • Singh, Balpreet
  • Thomas, Cherian
  • Thomas, Sumesh

publication date

  • August 20, 2020