Collaborations & Resources


The International Charter for Human Values in Healthcare

Charter LOGO v good croppedIPEP joins major healthcare and educational institutions in Hong Kong, Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Uganda, and the US, as a Partner of the International Charter for Human Values in Healthcare. The Charter was developed through an international, interprofessional collaborative effort to restore the primacy of core values necessary for practicing compassionate, ethical, and safe healthcare around the world.  Using a rigorous 3-year qualitative research process to identify and develop a framework  for values essential for every healthcare interaction, the Charter delineates five categories of fundamental human values, with sub-values within each:

  • Compassion
  • Respect
  • Commitment to integrity and ethical practice
  • Commitment to excellence
  • Justice in healthcare

Charter - Wordle -all valuesThe framework of values articulated in the Charter underpin ongoing and developing clinical care projects, educational programs and research efforts inhealthcare settings internationally. At IPEP, a Partner of the Charter since 2014, we have implemented values curricula in several IPEP programs including IPEP’s international faculty development course, Difficult Conversations in Healthcare: Teaching and Practice, Pedagogy and Practicalities Seminar, Difficult Conversations in Outpatient Pediatrics, and IPEP Faculty Retreats.

Elizabeth Rider, MSW, MD, IPEP’s Director of Academic Programs and member of the Department of Medicine, is a leader of the Charter initiative. Created in early 2011, the Charter is a major initiative of the International Research Centre for Communication in Healthcare at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and University of Technology Sydney, Australia; Curtin University, Western Australia is a strategic partner. For more information about the Charter, please click here and you can downlaod the paper here.

Harvard Macy Institute

The collaboration between IPEP and the Harvard Macy Institute began in 2005 with plans for a faculty development course for physicians and other healthcare Macy PERCS pic 2014professionals who teach interpersonal and communication skills and relationship centered care.

The IPEP leadership team developedDifficult Conversations in Healthcare: Teaching and Practice, a 1-day faculty development course that offers the opportunity to learn about the innovative PERCS philosophy and pedagogical approach, as well as other interactive teaching strategies and methods for enhancing relational capacities and communication skills.

Elizabeth Armstrong, Director of the Harvard Macy Institute (HMI), and Elizabeth Rider, IPEP’s Director of Academic Programs and an HMI faculty member, worked together to offer this course as a pre-course for two Harvard Macy Institute Programs: the Program for Educators in the Health Professions and the Program for Leading Innovations in Health Care and Education.

Also offered independently, the course draws a national and international audience of physician leaders in all specialties, medical education leaders, and multidisciplinary healthcare professionals, interested and/or involved in teaching and program development in the areas of interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, relationship-centered care, patient-clinician relationships and related topics.

Difficult Conversations in Healthcare: Teaching and Practice provides teaching and learning strategies for the communication skills and professionalism competencies required by many regulatory organizations including the ACGME, LCME (USA), CanMEDS (Canada), General Medical Council (UK), Institute for International Medical Education, and others.

To date, the course has been given 16 times, and has been attended by over 300 participants from 13 different countries and 30 states.  The course is offered through Harvard Medical School’s Department of Continuing Medical Education; CME and CEU credits are provided for physicians, social workers, psychologists, and nurses. To learn more, please view the course brochure.


Workshop enactment in Italy

Workshop enactment in Italy

The IPEP – Italy collaboration formally started in Milan in July 2008.  The idea of adapting the PERCS pedagogy and format to teach difficult conversations in another country is the brainchild of Giulia Lamiani, EdM, MS, a Fulbright Scholar who spent two years working with us at the Institute. The Italian PERCS adaptation is coordinated by the Unit of Medical Psychology, San Paolo Hospital, University of Milan.

To date two PERCS-style programs have been implemented: one focused on difficult conversations in adult ICU settings and another focused on communication with dialyzed adult patients.  The 4-hour workshops, organized around the enactment and debriefing of a case scenario, are offered once a month to small groups (10-15) of interdisciplinary participants and are led by two facilitators.  Periodic peer consultation meetings are held between the IPEP leadership team and faculty from the Unit of Medical Psychology to discuss cultural similarities and differences in the adaptation and implementation of the PERCS approach within the Italian healthcare system.  In January 2010 Regione Lombardia in Italy awarded the prize of “Health Promoting Hospital” to San Paolo Hospital in Milan for the work Giulia Lamiani and her colleagues are doing with the Italian PERCS project.  Learn more

CRICO/Risk Management Foundation

A special collaboration between IPEP and the Harvard Risk Management Foundation is aimed at helping all of the Harvard teaching hospitals implement systems that assure the availability of trained “coaches” to assist clinicians in the aftermath of adverse events and medical error, with particular focus on the initial conversations with the patient and family.  As a part of the program, we have been conducting highly interactive half-day workshops with the leadership of the Harvard teaching hospitals and related institutions.  Approximately 425 clinical leaders at Harvard have thus far been trained through this program.

The IPEP-CRICO/RMF collaboration has also led to our being granted competitive contracts to provide training to the clinical leadership at Boston University Medical Center and to other major hospital systems across the country.

In addition to the coaching for disclosure program, IPEP will continue to be involved in joint collaborations with RMF, including plans to develop a program for surgeons focused on communication around informed consent and managing patient expectations.

Children’s Emotional HealthLink

The collaboration of IPEP and Children’s Emotional HealthLink (CEHL) began in 2007 with the creation of a day-long PERCS workshop, Difficult Conversations in Primary Care Pediatrics: Depression in the Family.  This PERCS workshop currently serves as one component of CEHL’s year-long training program, “Emotional and Psychosocial Issues in Children and Families: Pediatrics for the New Millennium”.  Elizabeth Rider, IPEP’s Director of Academic Programs and also the co-director of CEHL’s training program, developed the collaboration between IPEP and CEHL.

IPEP and CEHL share common values.  CEHL encourages pediatric practitioners to focus on developing relationships and trust with patients and parents where important issues in the life of the family can surface and be discussed.  CEHL is dedicated to improving the emotional health of children and families, and its longitudinal training model aims to enhance pediatricians’ ability to evaluate and address emotional and psychosocial problems commonly seen in pediatric practice.  The CEHL team carried out a randomized trial to examine the effectiveness of such training.

The first IPEP – CEHL course, held in 2007, was developed by IPEP and CEHL leaders with generous input from William Beardslee and Tracy Gladstone.  Our second IPEP – CEHL course, “Difficult Conversations in Primary Care Pediatrics,” was held in the fall of 2009.

We have redesigned the course, and it is now available to all pediatric practitioners including: pediatricians (both in primary care and specialty practice), medicine-pediatrics and family physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers and other healthcare professionals who work with children, adolescents and families.

To find out more about our current course, Difficult Conversations in Outpatient Pediatrics: Behavioral Health and the Family, please click here.

For more information about Children’s Emotional HealthLink please visit their website here.

Center for Applied Ethics/Education Development Center

The collaboration between the Institute and the Center for Applied Ethics (CAE) at Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) dates back to the inception of the first PERCS program.  The missions of the Institute and CAE share many common values and goals.  Mildred Solomon, the Director of CAE and a Vice President at EDC, and Robert Truog, Executive Director of the Institute, formed the collaboration, envisioning several avenues for joint projects, both in research and in the realm of educational interventions.

One of the major areas of collaboration between the two groups has been the development of curricula for the Initiative for Pediatric Palliative Care (IPPC), an EDC project that provides educational retreats for interdisciplinary groups of clinicians from across the country.  IPEP and CAE staff worked closely together to produce an educational film and a portion of the IPPC curriculum focused on communication with patients and families in the palliative care context, materials which have been widely used nationally and internationally.  Staff from the two organizations have also worked closely on a number of research projects focused on evaluating the impact of the various PERCS workshops on the clinicians who participate.