SBARR stands for Situation - Background - Assessment - Recommendation-  Response


SBARR is an easy to remember mechanism that can be used to frame conversations, especially critical ones requiring a clinician's immediate attention and action.

The tool consists of standardised prompt questions within five sections, to ensure that staff are sharing concise and focused information.

  • It enables staff to clarify what information should be communicated between members of the team, and how.
  • It can also help to develop teamwork and foster a culture of patient safety. 
  • It allows staff to communicate assertively and effectively, reducing the need for repetition.
  • It helps staff anticipate the information needed by colleagues and encourages assessment skills.

Using SBARR prompts staff to formulate information with the right level of detail.

It was originally used in the military and aviation industries and developed for healthcare by Dr Michael Leonard and colleagues from Kaiser Permanente in Colorado, USA.