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Palliative Care Clinician Communication Training Available

Powerful new online courses designed to improve communication skills for clinicians working with seriously ill patients and families are now available from the California State University for Palliative Care, through a unique partnership with the Institute for Healthcare Communication (IHC).

The self-paced courses are the result of a yearlong collaboration between the two organizations and are focused on strengthening key skills that carry especially high stakes for clinicians and patients. Multiple studies have shown that poor communication in healthcare settings can lead to unnecessary hospital stays, costly malpractice suits, clinician burnout and undue patient and family suffering.

“We’re very excited to partner with the CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care on education to enhance skills that are so critical to the well-being of patients and healthcare providers,” said Barbara Andrews, MPPM, MPH, Director of Grants and Projects for IHC. “Good communication is a cornerstone of high-quality, patient-centered care. IHC ‘s skill-building programs help a wide array of clinicians gain confidence having conversations that can be stressful for everyone.”

The new online courses include:

  • Sharing Serious News, a two-hour training that equips clinicians to clearly and compassionately communicate with patients and families in difficult conversations that involve life-altering news, such as a serious diagnosis, a treatment failure, or the death of a loved one.
  • Communication Strategies for Shared and Informed Decision Making, a two-hour course that gives clinicians effective tools to help patients and families understand critical healthcare information, and to use it to guide important treatment decisions.

This affordable online curriculum is available 24/7 through an interactive, engaging Learning Management System developed by the Institute. All courses provide continuing education hours for healthcare professionals in a wide variety of disciplines.

For more information, visit, or call 760-750-4006.

About the CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care

The CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care is dedicated to increasing access to palliative care by educating current and future health professionals to better serve a growing number of people with life-limiting illness. Visit

About the Institute for Healthcare Communication (IHC)

IHC is a publicly supported, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that develops and implements communication skills development programs that help clinicians and other healthcare team members enhance their communication and coaching skills. Visit