Consult and Customize

Invest in team-wide training and ongoing professional development to enhance your patient care, patient experience, clinician resilience, and clinician retention.

Every day, medical and health care institutions must discuss with patients and families such difficult news such as life-altering diagnoses, poor prognosis, medical risk, brain death, and error disclosure and apology. Whether you would like to train your staff to implement an IPEP program, adapt an IPEP workshop to your hospital, or get IPEP’s perspective on a particular communication challenge ly thorny issue you’re facing right now, we’re here to help. IPEP consultation services teachempower your physicians, nurses, and care providers to handle their most difficult patient and family conversations with our efficient, proven expertise.

The Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice partners with and consults to:

  • Hospitals and hospital systems
  • Medical centers
  • Insurers
  • Risk managers
  • Training programs
  • Care providers of all kinds, including departments and teams


Please contact Stephen Brown, MD or Donna Luff, PhD at 617-355-5021 or via email to learn more about our consultation services.

Customized Workshops

Boston or On-site

Enhance your team's communication skills, confidence, and resilience, as well as the patient's experience when faced with difficult care conversations. IPEP offers interdisciplinary and specialty-specific workshops, covering error disclosure, difficult diagnoses, and related topics; we’ll work with you to customize a program that addresses your most pressing concerns. Our goal is to support the moral integrity of your team while carefully attending to your patients’ experience. All workshops include didactic sessions, hands-on practice in unscripted case simulations using professional actors—an experience far more powerful than role-play—and ample opportunities for feedback, self-reflection and discussion. Intensive One-day workshops (half-day, full-day, or multi-day events) (4-6 hours) can take place at our Boston headquarters or onsite at your institution.

Online Live Webinars

Give your team a solid introduction to the concepts, ethical underpinnings, and approaches for best practice in difficult medical conversations. In just 1.5-2 hours, these engaging, interactive webinars can address your team's specific priorities. Topics may include a particular communication area such as error disclosure or a life-altering diagnosis; or communication challenges relevant to a medical specialty area such as neurology, critical care, neonatology, or radiology. Typically an IPEP senior content expert and a senior member of our psycho-social faculty conduct each session for up to 50 participants. IPEP can repeat the workshop multiple times, or develop a multi-part series, depending on your goals.

PERCS Nursing Rounds (NEW)

Nurses face unique physical, mental, and patient-relationship demands in their work, often compounded by difficult moral and ethical dilemmas. Bring in PERCS Rounds to establish a monthly interdisciplinary forum where nursing staff and teams can navigate the tensions of everyday professional practice through safe, supportive, and productive discussions. Our PERCS (Program to Enhance Relational and Communication Skills ) methodology has been honed and implemented for years in IPEP’s critical care monthly nursing communication rounds at Boston Children’s Hospital and profiled as an effective model. To explore bringing this highly regarded program to your organization please contact us.

Professional and Faculty Development

Focus on exactly what your team needs or support the development of individual team members. IPEP can work with you to host a group coaching series, or individualized simulation-based practice sessions. Individual clinicians and direct patient-service providers take part in a simulated difficult conversation, review a video-recording of the session and receive feedback by our expert faculty. Train-the-trainer programs are coming soon.

Implementing a Program in your Organization or Department

Our faculty can help you delve deeply into the multi-layered considerations for implementing a successful training and educational program across your institution, or within a department or unit. This is well-suited for health care organizations and initiatives committed to incorporating or enhancing difficult communication training and relational learning skills programs across their institution, whether for experienced staff or in a training program. Areas of communication and program development that we can teach you how to address and educate your staff:

  • Ethical, Legal, and Moral Implications of Difficult Conversations
  • Actors as Teachers
  • Using Simulation: Concepts, Setup, Theory
  • Simulation-based Case Development
  • Curriculum Design
  • Incorporating the Patient/Family Perspective
  • Working with a Multi-disciplinary Faculty
  • Working with Interprofessional Teams