Practice: use of standardised tools for communication
Safe communications within and between teams
Some ideas that your team could try:
- Why the use standardised tools for communication in practice is important
The use of standardised templates for communication encourages consistency and clarity, whilst supporting processes of care, acting as a record of treatment/decision-making, and reducing duplication/repetition.
Key Information Summary (KIS)
KIS is an electronic template that allows GP surgeries to record agreed key information, on a selected group of patients, for access by other healthcare services.
Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation (SBAR)
SBAR has been widely used by healthcare teams as a focused way of transferring information about a person's condition. It was originally developed by the military to create a reliable, consistent process to share concise, clear, focused information. The aim is to communicate critical information in an understandable way, and SBAR communication is normally brief. Most SBAR templates are around one page of A4, two at most.
Immediate Discharge Letter (IDL)
When a person is discharged after a stay in hospital, essential information is sent to the person’s GP, to allow the GP to continue the person’s care and management. The preparation and sharing of accurate, timely records of care and treatment are central aspects of good clinical practice. The content, structure and production (particularly the timeliness) of discharge documents are critical.
- Resources to support the use of standardised tools for communication in practice
The section below provides more information that you can use to support your improvements.
NICE QS174 Quality Statement 4 Structured Patient Handover, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2018.
This webpage hosts the NICE quality statement for structured patient handovers. It outlines the rationale, quality measures, outcomes and source guidance for the safe, effective and person centred delivery of this care process.
Structured Handover Education Project, NHS Education for Scotland: TURAS | Learn.
This learning resource will support teams seeking to improve patient handovers. TURAS log in required.