SBAR Training Scenarios and Competency Assessment

Bronson Healthcare Group
Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA
 
These SBAR training scenarios, which reflect a range of clinical conditions and patient circumstances, are used in conjunction with other SBAR training materials to assess front-line staff competency in using the SBAR technique for communication.
 
Assessing the competency of front-line staff to use the SBAR technique is an important step in ensuring standardized communications in critical situations. Front-line staff are provided with one or more of the scenarios and asked to respond to the scenario with SBAR-based communication. The SBAR communications are assessed against the expected response and trained staff receive feedback of successful completion or suggested rehearsal resources and asked to repeat the exercise until competency is demonstrated.
 
Background
Competency assessments for SBAR originated at Bronson Methodist Hospital, part of Bronson Healthcare Group, which has a history of integrating competency-based workforce strategies. After receiving training from Michael Leonard, MD, originator of the SBAR technique at Kaiser Permanente, the leaders at Bronson developed the SBAR training scenarios and a competency assessment plan.
 
SBAR competency assessments are now being used in other pilot hospitals in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Institute for Healthcare Improvement Transforming Care at the Bedside initiative. The competency-based approach is particularly helpful in medical-surgical units where there is a history of variation in the communication styles between doctors and nurses.

Directions
This tool includes a sample of training scenarios, to be used in conjunction with other SBAR materials found on IHI’s website. Please refer to the detailed directions below.
  1. Select your target staff training (e.g., medical-surgical unit RNs, other front-line staff). Designate whether training and competency assessments will be conducted on all shifts or only on a subset.
  2. Establish a mechanism for training each RN and others in the target staff. The following is a suggested SBAR training method using self-study or small group review [materials are available on IHI’s website]:
  3. Download the sample SBAR training scenarios developed by Bronson Healthcare Group (below). Adapt one or more scenarios for your SBAR training.
  4. All RNs and others in the target staff should read or receive the materials and complete the training within a designated timeframe.
  5. Using one or more SBAR training scenarios, ask each trained staff to respond to each scenario with SBAR-based communication to demonstrate his or her competency. Some ways to accomplish this are in person, in writing, or on a designated voice mailbox. The SBAR communications are assessed against the expected response and trained staff receive feedback of successful completion or suggested rehearsal resources and asked to repeat the exercise until competency is demonstrated. 
  6. Encourage trained staff to practice using SBAR during a critical communication with a physician or with a Rapid Response Team, if there is one.

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