Guidelines for communicating palliative needs 

The SBAR communication tool helps with communicating palliative needs.

Purpose of communication palliative care needs 

A tool to communicate focused concerns about an individual / family with palliative symptom management concerns, transitional needs, or distress that requires inter-professional attention. The standardized Palliative SBAR can be used to present in Whole Community Palliative Rounds (WCPR), Clinical Huddles, to communicate succinctly with Physicians or Nurse Practitioners to obtain relevant orders for care, or for warm and cold handovers of individuals with palliative needs who are being transferred across the settings to ensure better continuity of care. This Palliative SBAR is a worksheet. Inclusion in the chart is optional. 


Any individual and family members living with advancing life limiting illness (malignant or non-malignant) who present with current palliative needs, symptom burden and / or distress. Individuals may be located in any sector of care. 

Most Responsible Practitioner (MRP)

Family Physician, Nurse Practitioner or Medical Specialist Most Responsible Clinician (MRC): Nurse, Social Worker, or any Allied Health member 

Instructions on how you can communicate palliative care needs

Complete the SBAR with brief bullets, providing enough salient information to correctly communicate the context and summary of existing palliative needs that require rapid clinical attention. Examples of the types of information that may be communicated are identified in each category of the SBAR.

IH PPC_EOL SBAR Communication Tool for HCP pdf 681.26 kb