Event 5: Communication Among Health Providers

If you were the nurse, social service worker or the physical therapist – how would you choose to communicate between each other as well as to the primary care provider?

Would you choose texting, emailing or a telephone/voicemail message?

Communication between healthcare providers is an essential component of healthcare. In some settings, the type of communication utilized may be based on provider preference, health system preference, availability, or time.

We have provided three examples of communication that may occur with Home Health Services for Nursing, Social Services and Physical Therapy. These include text, email or telephone message. Each form of communication has benefits and/or challenges and will vary with healthcare institutions for facility. Proceed to the next page to review the samples of communication for each home health provider for each method. 

Communication: Text

Communication sample of nursing, physical therapy or Social Services is as follows.


Betty is having a great deal of pain in right shoulder. Able to demonstrate good understanding of pain, medications, and home safety. Nursing concerns about driving due to safety and limited function in the right upper extremity. Recommend Social Services and Physical Therapy.

Physical Therapy

Betty M. has limited range and strength of right shoulder and significant functional limitations with right shoulder for dressing, activities around the house and driving. Recommend PT 2x week for 4 weeks.

Social Services

Betty has allowed her pain to limit her engagement in social, leisure, and home activities. Pain isn’t limiting her, she is allowing pain to limit her engagement in her life. 

Communication: Email

Communication sample of nursing, physical therapy or Social Services is as follows.

One frequently used technique for communication is situation, background, assessment and recommendation.


Institute for Healthcare Improvement – SBAR


S- Situation

Home health nursing assessment was completed with Betty M in her home. The assessment was completed for pain, pain management, medication, home safety and review of support within the home. Pain education was completed with the client in order to assist her in pain management.

B- Background

Patient with a history of right shoulder pain of four weeks. Past history includes hypertension, borderline diabetes diet controlled, Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and decreased vision at night. Patient is a widow living along in a rural area. 

A- Assessment

Patient with high pain level of 6-7 on IPT-R and PEG average of 7.3 of 10 indicating right shoulder pain is interfering with activities at home and that she typically enjoys. Patient’s daughter is assisting with groceries, transportation, laundry, and other needs. 

R- Recommendation

Home health nursing 11 times per week for 4 weeks to include medication monitoring, pain management and reassessment.

Communication: Phone

Communication sample of nursing, physical therapy or Social Services is as follows.


This is the nurse who saw Betty Miller at home regarding her right shoulder pain. We were able to review her past medical history, medical status, complete pain medication review, home safety and pain education. She is having a high degree of pain and is unsafe to drive at present and qualifies for home health services. I would recommend nursing follow-up weekly with Betty for the next 4 weeks. I would recommend Social Services and Physical Therapy for her at home. 

Physical Therapy

 This is the physical therapist who saw Betty Miller at home regarding her right shoulder pain. She has limited range of motion, limited strength, difficulty with daily activities and difficulty with driving. She would benefit from physical therapy services to address pain management, motion, strength and functional activities. I would recommend 2x a week for 4 weeks.

Social Services

This is a message for Betty Miller’s primary care provider. I was able to interview Betty at home and we discussed her concerns regarding her right shoulder pain, pain during daily activities, family resources, and social support. She and I developed a plan to utilize her family and social support as well as address her financial concerns. I will follow up with her in the next week.

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