For the Most Difficult Conversations in Healthcare

An error in care. An upsetting prognosis. Talking about highly-charged news is difficult and distressing for both clinicians and patients—with implications for patient care and experience, clinician burnout and resilience, and institutional ratings. Navigating these difficult conversations takes planning, training, and practice. 

Our newsletter highlights news, research and learning opportunities to help you, your team, and your organization gain more confidence in clinical communications skills . Below, please find the latest. If you'd like more information or counsel, please be in touch. And be sure to scroll down for upcoming workshops.

Director, Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice
Associate Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School

Read the ACR Bulletin's interview with Dr. Stephen Brown , IPEP Director, about the growing need for radiologists to be prepared for disclosure and apology after medical error .


 The American Association of Critical Care Nursing cover report by IPEP faculty member  Christine M. Rachwal, MSN, RN, CCRN   et al assesses 5 years of monthly rounds with over 1,100 clinicians, about half nurses. 92% called this approach valuable for tackling such varied issues as child assent, bereavement, social media, and workplace bullying.
Disclosure & Apology after Medical Error
The Association of American Colleges reports on why an open approach to medical errors benefits not only patients and their families, but also medical students, physicians, and teaching hospitals.
Health Affairs  reports on a research study which finds that implementing a communication-and-resolution program does not expand liability risk for hospitals and may, in fact, improve some liability outcomes. None of the hospitals in the study experienced worsening liability trends after CRP implementation, which suggests that transparency, apology, and proactive compensation can be pursued without adverse financial consequences.
According to a study of 10-year trends by CRICO, the insurer of the Harvard medical institutions, " Efforts to expedite resolution such as disclosure and apology are having an impact and possibly slowing the growth in case management expenses."
with IPEP's Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital faculty
All workshops and courses integrate IPEP's innovative learning model, the validated Program to Enhance Relational and Communication Skills (PERCS) , blending ethics, practice, patient/family voices, and live actors to create an unscripted, real-world experience. 
Choose Date:
Tuesday, April 9, 2019 or Wednesday, June 26, 2019
9-11am EDT (6-8am PDT )
Designed BY radiologists specifically FOR radiologists, this online workshop will outline the ethical underpinnings, legal and risk management perspectives, important recent developments, and nationally recommended best practice standards around error disclosure. Highly recommended for radiology department/team leaders, training managers, and risk managers (both practice- and insurer-based) as well as individual clinicians. CE's available.
Choose Date:
 Saturday, May 11, 2019 or Saturday, June 15, 2019
 Learn innovative concepts, methods and strategies for teaching and enhancing communications within your team or institution. Designed for medical / healthcare education leaders and clinicians in a variety of academic and clinical healthcare settings CEs available.
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Learn the unique communication and relational skills needed to support young neurologically complex patients and their families. Designed for team and department leaders as well as individual clinicians working in the fields of neonatology, neurology, neurosurgery, and anesthesiology at any level of experience. CNE & Social Work credits available.

 Thursday, May 30, 2019
 F or physicians, nurses, team and department leaders, and interested clinicians. Gain confidence and skills to improve patient experience, manage burnout, and strengthen your institution. CNEs//Social Work credits available.
What participants are saying...
"The authenticity of the experience is key. The actors were phenomenal. Five minutes in, I forgot that it was a role play scenario. I have had a few new diagnoses of malignancies on call this year. It was so important to take the time to recognize that how we handle the interaction with the family has a big impact on how safe they feel at such a devastating time. "

Based at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, The Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice trains institutions, teams, and clinicians worldwide to navigate their most difficult conversations with greater readiness, confidence, compassion, and skill.

The Institute offers workshops, monthly interdisciplinary clinician support rounds, trainer-training, custom programs in Boston and at host institutions, and consultation, all integrating its innovative, validated approach to hands-on learning.

ipep@childrens.harvard.edu | (617) 355-5021