Communicating value to patients-a high-value care communication skills curriculum

Alisa Duran, Crystal Donelan, Jill Bowman Peterson, Sophia P. Gladding, Peter F Weissmann, Craig S Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: With rising health care costs in the United States, trainees will be increasingly challenged in discussing testing stewardship with patients. Objective: We piloted a high-value care (HVC) communication skills curriculum utilizing the Four Habits Model for communication. We hoped residents would 1) learn to apply the Four Habits communication model to HVC discussions with standardized patients (SP) and 2) improve value-based communication skills through training in a high-intensity curriculum with feedback from trained faculty facilitators and peers. Methods: Thirty interns at the University of Minnesota were randomized to a standard HVC communication SP encounter (n = 15) or a high-intensity HVC communication skills curriculum (n = 15). The high-intensity curriculum included video and audio-recorded SP encounters followed by facilitated small group discussions/feedback. Experiences were reported in a post-intervention survey; communication skills were assessed with the CARE empathy scale. Results: 70% (21/30) of interns (57% high intensity, 43% standard) responded to the survey. In total, 88% of high intensity v. 44% of standard interns agreed/strongly agreed that the curriculum was valuable for their communication skills. High-intensity interns were more likely to report that feedback was valuable with subsequent incorporation of feedback into future patient encounters. High-intensity participants also reported higher levels of interest in future HVC curricula (55% vs 22%). Conclusion: There was no difference in overall performance on the CARE empathy scale. Our HVC high-intensity skills curriculum was well received by interns and provided opportunities to practice structured conversations and debrief around testing stewardship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPostgraduate medicine
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health Award Number UL1TR000114. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


  • communication
  • High-value care
  • standardized patients
  • testing stewardship

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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