Article Text

PDF
The teaching of a structured tool improves the clarity and content of interprofessional clinical communication
  1. S Marshall,
  2. J Harrison,
  3. B Flanagan
  1. Monash University and Southern Health Simulation and Skills Centre, Melbourne, Australia
  1. Dr S Marshall, Southern Health Simulation and Skills Centre, PO Box 72, East Bentleigh, VIC 3165, Australia; stumarshall{at}netspace.net.au

Abstract

Introduction: Suboptimal communication between health professionals has been recognised as a significant causative factor in incidents compromising patient safety. The use of a structured method of communication has been suggested to improve the quality of information exchange. The aim of this study was to determine if the teaching of a communication tool, ISBAR (Identify, Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation), a modification of SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation), improved the content and clarity of a telephone referral in an immersive simulated clinical scenario conducted in real time.

Method: Seventeen teams of final-year medical students were randomised into two groups. The intervention group participated in a 40 min education session about the ISBAR communication tool. A control group received no training. Each team of five students participated in a simulated clinical scenario using a patient simulator in a mocked-up clinical environment. During each scenario, one student made a telephone referral seeking assistance from a senior colleague. Audio data for the telephone referrals (n = 17 students) were captured during the scenario for both groups. During a blinded review of the data, communication was scored on both content and clarity.

Results: Communication content was higher from a mean score of 10.2 to 17.4 items (p<0.001) with the intervention. Clarity of the delivery of information on a 5-point scale was also higher in the intervention group (ρ = 0.903, p<0.001).

Conclusions: The teaching of a structured method of communication improved the communication during telephone referral in a simulated clinical setting. This research has implications for how healthcare professionals are taught to communicate with each other.

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: Ethics approval was jointly approved from the Southern Health and Monash University Human Research Ethics Committees.

  • Patient consent: Obtained.

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.