We aimed to examine staff members’ perceptions of communication within and between different professions, safety attitudes and psychological empowerment, prior to and after implementation of the communication tool Situation-Background-Assessment-Recommendation (SBAR) at an anaesthetic clinic. The aim was also to study whether there was any change in the proportion of incident reports caused by communication errors.
A prospective intervention study with comparison group using preassessments and postassessments. Questionnaire data were collected from staff in an intervention (n=100) and a comparison group (n=69) at the anaesthetic clinic in two hospitals prior to (2011) and after (2012) implementation of SBAR. The proportion of incident reports due to communication errors was calculated during a 1-year period prior to and after implementation.
Anaesthetic clinics at two hospitals in Sweden.
All licensed practical nurses, registered nurses and physicians working in the operating theatres, intensive care units and postanaesthesia care units at anaesthetic clinics in two hospitals were invited to participate.
Implementation of SBAR in an anaesthetic clinic.
Primary and secondary outcomes
The primary outcomes were staff members’ perception of communication within and between different professions, as well as their perceptions of safety attitudes. Secondary outcomes were psychological empowerment and incident reports due to error of communication.
In the intervention group, there were statistically significant improvements in the factors ‘Between-group communication accuracy’ (p=0.039) and ‘Safety climate’ (p=0.011). The proportion of incident reports due to communication errors decreased significantly (p<0.0001) in the intervention group, from 31% to 11%.
Implementing the communication tool SBAR in anaesthetic clinics was associated with improvement in staff members’ perception of communication between professionals and their perception of the safety climate as well as with a decreased proportion of incident reports related to communication errors.