Clinician Patient Communication to Enhance
Health Outcomes for Virtual Video Visits

The Institute for Healthcare Communication (IHC) has been a leader in healthcare communication skills training since 1987. IHC’s accredited programs advance the quality of healthcare, with measurable benefits for patient satisfaction, clinician career satisfaction, patient health outcomes and durable relationships of trust.

Learn about the more than three decades of research evidence that demonstrates a clinician’s ability to explain, listen and empathize can have a profound effect on patient health outcomes including diagnostic accuracy, adherence, satisfaction and malpractice risk. While telemedicine using virtual video visits (VVV) has historically been used to enhance healthcare access for patients living in rural and remote areas, we are now seeing exponential growth of VVV.

Virtual visits have multiple advantages including ensuring patients’ and providers’ safety from viral infection and offer advantages with respect to time- and cost-saving. Clinicians and patients may be concerned that virtual visits impose obstacles to personal connections. Using VVV can still remain a personal experience by using essential communication skills that include listening to patients, providing adequate time for patient questioning, investing time in building patient rapport and emphasizing patient input into decision-making.

  • MODULE 1: E1 Engage your patient
  • MODULE 2: E2 Empathize with your patient
  • MODULE 3: E3 Educate your patient
  • MODULE 4: E4 Enlist your patient

E1 - Engage your Patients

The module content offers a close examination and use of the tools and techniques to build patient rapport starting with welcoming rituals, coaching your patient through the technology, time-saving agenda setting, and summarizing. Finally, a simulated clinician-patient virtual video visit is shown for learners to identify effective clinician communication skills specific to E1 (Engage your patient).

E2 - Empathize with your Patients

This course is based on IHC’s evidence-based E4 Communication Model (Engage, Empathize, Educate, Enlist). This module is the second E of the E4 Model: E2 – Empathize with your patient. This module presents scientific evidence demonstrating that clinician’s empathic communication leads to increased patient satisfaction, adherence and health outcomes.

E3 - Educate your Patients

Module 3 provides a deeper exploration into VVV skills and techniques for the third E of the E4 Model: E3 – Educate your patient. The module content highlights scientific evidence showing that patient misunderstanding contributes significantly to non-adherence, adverse outcomes, patient dissatisfaction and malpractice risk.

E4 - Enlist your Patient as a Partner

This course is based on IHC’s evidence-based E4 Communication Model. It provides an exploration into VVV skills and techniques for the fourth E of the E4 Model: Enlist your patient as a partner. The module content underscores the research showing that discussing patient-identified goals as a starting point for healthcare decision-making leads to improved patient adherence.

IHC Patient-Centered Communication Series

Sharing Serious News

Some of the most challenging conversations that clinicians must have with patients and families involve sharing serious news. While sharing such news is oftentimes quite distressful for the patient and family, it can also be distressful for the clinician. Many clinicians do not feel competent or comfortable about delivering bad news. While it will never be easy to be the bearer of distressing news, clinicians can gain confidence and competence by mastering specific communication techniques for navigating these emotionally-charged interactions. Strong communication skills bolster the clinician-patient relationship and foster clinician-patient collaboration.

Advance Care Planning - Starting the Conversation

This module will provide an overview of advance care planning specific to strategies for initiating the conversation with patients about advance directives. Advance care planning is the process of communication between an individual, his or her family, and clinicians or other caregivers, to clarify treatment preferences, identify a surrogate and develop goals for care in serious illness and near the end of life. Advance care planning aims to protect the wishes and goals of the individual so that when serious illness occurs, wishes are honored in concert with patient and family values and circumstances, as discussed or documented during the advance care planning process.


Dr. Marks is multi-faceted physician and business executive who brings more than 30 years of expertise drawing from his broad leadership experiences. Dr. Marks is a Board-Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon, having completed his orthopaedic residency at George Washington University and spine fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. He was the Vice President of Business Development for Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut and is currently the Senior Medical Director of Relievant MedSystems. In 2001, he obtained his MBA from the University of Tennessee to acquire the skills necessary to meet the healthcare challenges of the 21st Century. For more than 15 years, he has been a communications mentor for the Institute for Healthcare Communications providing instruction in three communication skill courses (Clinician-Patient Communication, Strangers in Crisis, and Disclosing Unanticipated Medical Outcomes) including the development of virtual video
visits (telemedicine) webinars that are necessary for today’s clinicians.

Dr. Burney is a retired board-certified orthopedic surgeon in New Mexico who served as the Chair of the Board of Councilors, Chair of the Membership Committee, and Chair of the Communication Skills Mentoring Program for American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He was a founding partner in New Mexico Orthopaedic Associates, the largest orthopaedic subspecialty practice in New Mexico. Dr. Burney is a graduate of Stanford University, received his medical degree at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine and his orthopaedic residency at the University of New
Mexico School of Medicine. He completed a fellowship in orthopaedic trauma at the University of Washington in Seattle. For the past 14 years, he has been a senior communication skills trainer for the Institute for Healthcare Communication, and has co-led IHC faculty courses.

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6 unique modules available
Accreditation available
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