Clinical handover between paramedics and emergency department staff: SBAR and IMIST-AMBO acronyms

Yousaf Shah, Guillaume Alinier, Yugan Pillay

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Clinical handover at the paramedic/emergency department (ED) interface is a potentially critical episode in the patient care journey, as omission of information can adversely affect subsequent actions and the treatment provided in the ED. Standardisation of the handover contents and processes has shown to prevent errors and omissions and improve the handover process. This review article explores two handover tools, SBAR* and IMIST-AMBO**, both of which have been used to standardise handover contents at the paramedic/ED interface. IMIST-AMBO provides an explicit structure to handover that is concise, complete, tailored to paramedic-ED interface, and that also aligns with the general informational expectations of ED staff. SBAR is more widely used but less specific. Further research work is needed to compare them and understand their acceptability and acceptance by different global health systems, considering environmental and cultural factors. Training requirements to ensure their respective correct implementation also need to be determined for evidence-based recommendations to be made to the various emergency services stakeholders.

*SBAR stands for Situation, Background, Assessment, and Recommendation.

**IMIST-AMBO stands for Identification/Introduction, Mechanism of Injury/Medical complaint, Injuries/Information related to the complaint, Signs and Symptoms, Treatment given/Trends noted, Allergies, Medications, Background history, Other information.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Paramedic Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2016


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