Category: Professional Posters
Purpose: Interprofessional communication is a basic principle in healthcare. Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation (SBAR) is a well-recognized tool for communication between healthcare professionals in nursing and medicine. Communication courses within pharmacy curricula tend to focus on pharmacist-patient communication, with the major emphasis on counseling points and methods of delivery for patients, such as in the Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process. There are inconsistent formats for pharmacists to use for interprofessional communication with other medical professionals. This project aimed to determine if the SBAR technique would improve fourth-year pharmacy student communication skills with other healthcare professionals when making clinical recommendations.
Methods: Six faculty preceptors were recruited to participate in this project, which consisted of providing an SBAR toolkit to their fourth-year students and evaluating the student’s communication of a clinical recommendation, during a 6-week APPE experience. Faculty were chosen due to the extent of interprofessional communication that occurs within their practice experience. The toolkit included an educational SBAR document from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, pre- and post-surveys, and two communication scenarios. Students were instructed to utilize a real patient case for the third scenario. The SBAR document detailed how to utilize SBAR technique and also provided illustrations of use. The pre- and post-surveys ascertained communication comfort and confidence level from the student’s perspective. The three scenarios allowed students to practice their communication skills in making clinical recommendations, which were assessed utilizing the VALUE rubric for communication. The VALUE rubric assesses domains of organization, language, delivery, supporting material, and central message. The first scenario (pre-defined) was administered without any preparation, while the second scenario (pre-defined) and third scenario (live scenario, chosen by the student) occurred after the SBAR toolkit was provided.
Results: Results from the VALUE rubric were analyzed using a Wilcoxon Signed Rank test. Data from 21 students who completed scenario one and scenario two are included. All five individual rubric items evaluated showed statistically significant improvement from baseline scores (p-value < 0.05). The aggregate score increased for total points along with each individual rubric item. On a standard letter grade scale, average student scenario letter grades improved by two letter grades. Out of the 20 points possible, the average total score for scenario one was 14 points while the average total score for scenario two increased to 18 points. Looking at the pre- and post-survey data, the student’s self-assessed comfort level and confidence level increased after utilizing SBAR technique to communicate a clinical recommendation.
Conclusion: Results from this project suggest that pharmacy students in their fourth professional year benefit from having a structured interprofessional communication tool like the SBAR to frame their clinical recommendations. More research is needed to evaluate whether this technique could be incorporated into the earlier years of the curriculum and whether or not this formal communication technique helps pharmacists communicate more clearly once they enter practice.