At the last C & C, we’ve identified the importance of learning the standardised language and the handover to the hospital staff, or even between the ambulance staff.

Blair C (not the surfer…or are you?) has kindly sent us the information on the CDHB approved standard hand over system called ISBAR* and associated medical abbreviation.
Blair has also got us the credit card size reference that we can carry and they will be distributed to you shortly.

* The ISBAR communication framework is used to create a structured and standardised communication format between health care workers. It is particularly useful for reporting changes in a patient’s status and / or deterioration between health care services or shifts.



The following is a breakdown for each ISBAR element: (From CDHB web site)


  • Identify the person to whom you are speaking
  • Identify yourself, occupation and where you are calling from


  • Identify the patient by name, date of birth, age, sex, reason for admission
  • Identify what is going on with the patient (Chest pain, nausea, etc…)


  • Give the patient’s presenting complaint
  • Give the patient’s relevant past medical history
  • Brief summary of background


  • Vital signs: heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, temperature, oxygen saturation, pain scale, level of consciousness
  • List if any vital signs that are outside of parameters; what is your clinical impression
  • Severity of patient, additional concern


  • Explanation of what you require, how urgent and when action needs to be taken
  • Make suggestions of what action is to be taken
  • Clarify what action you expect to be taken

Click the link below to view the ISBAR presentation developed by the CDHB

We will practice handover as a part of SIM scenarios in the future.

Thanks Blair for following this up!




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