Institute for Professionalism & Ethical Practice (IPEP)

An upsetting diagnosis. A critical juncture in complex care.  Every day, healthcare professionals must discuss highly-charged news with patients and families. 

The Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice trains institutions, teams, and clinicians worldwide to plan for and engage in the most difficult conversations with greater readiness, confidence, and skill. 

With faculty based at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, The Institute offers:

  • Online & in-person workshops, including for trainers and coaches 
  • Clinician peer support rounds
  • Trainer-training and customized coaching 
  • Consultation to hospitals, teams, and individuals
  • Customized programs in Boston, regionally, or nationally 

Simulation-based communications training approach and expertise

IPEP’s innovative, validated approach to hands-on learning, the Program to Enhance Relational & Communication Skills (PERCS), builds skills by incorporating:

  • Ethics and practice, taught by experts in medical communication, education, empathy, and bioethics in pediatric and adult settings
  • Powerful simulation, engaging skilled improvisational actors, generating unscripted, real-world experience that goes far beyond role-play & theory
  • Patient and family voices, bringing the perspective of real patients into the room

The Institute’s expertise, particularly in error disclosure and apology and peer support, offers guidance in even the most challenging situations.

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Developed for institutions, teams, & individuals

IPEP programs strengthen the work of hospitals, risk managers, safety & quality managers, training directors, teams, and units, as well as individual physicians, nurses, social workers, and healthcare professionals.

Since 2002, more than 6,000 people and institutions have turned to the Institute for training and consultation. IPEP's specialty-specific resources in radiology, neurology, NICU, nursing, and critical care especially enhance patient care.

For better care, and a better patient experience

As our research and publications demonstrate, better communications skills are essential for achieving:

  • Better patient care
  • Better patient and family experience
  • Stronger, more effective interdisciplinary teams with better peer support
  • Reduced clinician burnout and emotional exhaustion, with positive implications for hiring, retention, and resilience
  • More complete, proactive training for early-career physicians, nurses, and trainees

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Why communications matter

Patients, clinicians, and institutions all benefit. Research shows there’s a clear need.

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Our expertise

Learn to plan for and engage in disclosure & apology, peer support, informed consent & beyond.

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Our teaching approach

High-fidelity simulation, with expert and family faculty and trained actors.

See what sets IPEP apart

Consult & customize

Risk managers, training directors, safety & quality leaders: how can we help you?

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Meet our team

Get to know IPEPs’ faculty and partners, their expertise, and their scholarship.

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Video gallery

Insights from thought leaders in ethics, communications, and disclosure
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