Using the iSoBAR framework to establish case control plans in communicable disease exposures

Mr Brendon Heley1

1Fiona Stanley Hospital, Murdoch, Australia


Effective communication is pivotal for addressing communicable disease exposures (CDE). The Infection Prevention service at Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group (FSFHG) has devised a tool using the iSoBAR Framework (Identify, Situation, Observations, Background, Actions and Recommendations) to devise a case control plan (CCP). The iSoBAR approach structures information in a systematic manner facilitating communication of key risks to stakeholders. The tool has been used for several exposures including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Measles and Pertussis.


Often CDE are complicated and risk mitigation is required. Incorporating the iSoBAR framework in CCP enables clinicians to gather all the relevant information, and prepare for a case conference utilising the standardised tool. Actions include: Identifying: The index case, the notifier and case lead; the current Situation including:  disease, symptoms, pathology, immunisation status, admission details, location and any isolation measures; Observations: history of admission, transfers, interventions and relevant information; Background: define case with Series of National Guidelines and classify infectious period; distribute or delegate Actions for follow up; and Recommendations where decisions for screening, treatment and/or escalation are made.


The use of the iSoBAR framework in the CCP has been effective for Infection Prevention personnel to undertake complex reviews in a tertiary facility. This process has enhanced clinical communication and guided discussion, ensuring that each case is thoroughly investigated. This process has built efficiencies into the investigation process and improvement time sensitive follow up.


Standardisation of the process for CDE instils confidence in Infection Prevention practitioners to manage a complex CCP.


Brendon Heley is a passionate Infection Prevention nursing with a keen interest in patient safety. He is currently the Clinical Nurse Specialist for Infection Prevention and Staff Health at Fiona Stanley Hospital. He is a member of the ACIPC Education and Professional Development Committee.

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