Reducing Unnecessary Hospitalizations: New Communication Resource

Nancy Leveille and Karen Morris in Clinical & Quality


AHCA has posted “Communicating Health Assessments by Telephone” (CHATs) on the AHCA Quality Initiative website at  Click on Safely Reduce Hospital Readmissions, look under Resources, and scroll down to the 3rd resource.  The CHATs are linked to the AHCA website under Clinical Practice and they can be found there as well.

The CHAT is an alternative to SBAR and is used for reporting assessment information to the physician.  There are 16 CHATs and each one is related to a common geriatric condition.  In testing, clinicians found the CHATs easy to use.  Thus, the CHAT can be used as the nurse/physician communication tool or as a beginning step in preparing clinicians to eventually use SBAR.

The quality improvement program was developed by Heather Whitson, MD, S. Nicole Hastings, MD, Deborah Lakan, RNC, MSN, Richard Sloane, MPH, Heidi White, MS and Eleanor McConnell, RN, PhD from the Department of Medicine and the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development and School of Nursing at Duke University, Durham, NC.  The program was studied and conducted at Extended Care and Rehabilitation Center, Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center.  Funding support was provided by the AMDA Foundation and the John A. Hartford Foundation.

The AHCA webpage contains all the CHATs, each containing a progress note, for completing and inserting in the medical record. In addition, the website contains a one-page on What is CHAT and a one-page on How to Use CHAT.



Nancy Leveille, RN, MS
Sr. Director, Member Operational Support
518-462-4800 x20
  Karen Morris, RN, MS
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15