Implementing a Standardized Communication Tool in an Intensive Care Unit

Author(s): Margaret Murphy, DNP, ACNP, CCNS, CCRN-CSC, Jill R. Engel, DNP, ACNP, FNP, NEA-BC, Lynn McGugan, DNP, RN, ACNP, CCRN-CSC, Rebecca McKenzie, DNP, RN, Julie A. Thompson, PhD, Kathleen M. Turner, DNP, RN

Contact Hours 1.00

CERP C 1.00

Expires Jun 01, 2025

Topics: Communication

Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

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Activity Summary

Historically, communication practices have differed greatly between nurses and advanced practiced providers, in our ICU. Staff members described the communication process as lacking organization and consistency. As a result, patient safety was put at risk because of incomplete, inaccurate, or delayed information when clinical concerns were reported or escalated. A quality improvement project was completed, using a pre-post design, to improve communication between the two groups.


  • Identify three characteristics of effective communication.
  • Describe two potential outcomes of poor communication among healthcare team members.
  • Describe the four key components of the SBAR tool to facilitate communication.

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Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


This activity has been reviewed by the Nurse Planner. It has been determined that the material presented here shows no bias. No conflicts of interest have been identified for any individual with the ability to influence the content of this activity. Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing education only and does not imply AACN or ANCC approval or endorsement of any commercial products discussed or displayed in conjunction with this educational activity.


The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC's) Commission on Accreditation, ANCC Provider Number 0012. AACN has been approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by the California State Board of Nursing (CBRN), California Provider number CEP 1036. This activity is approved for 1.00 contact hours.

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