Safety and Quality > Our Work > Clinical Communications > Clinical Handover > National Clinical Handover Initiative Pilot Program > ISBAR revisited: Identifying and Solving BARriers to Effective Handover in Interhospital Transfer

Hunter New England Area Health Service

This project assessed the role of a standardised format ‘ISBAR’ – ‘Introduction, Situation, Background, Assessment and Recommendation’ – across one sending and two receiving hospitals for inter-hospital transfers. The assessment included surveys and interviews with clinicians, patients, carers and staff from the Patient Flow Unit and those involved in transporting patients. Many participants reported that the best elements of the ISBAR framework were that it was simple, memorable and portable. Staff had increased confidence in giving and receiving clinical handover and audits of medical charts indicated that the quality of information improved. A comparative incident analysis between the sending facility and a similar hospital suggested a heightened awareness surrounding clinical handover. Overall, ISBAR was well-received and continues to be used and spread across the region.


ISBAR Poster (PDF 136 KB)

ISBAR Notepad (PDF 18 KB)

ISBAR Promptcard template (PDF 46 KB)

ISBAR Project Toolkit (PDF 222 KB)