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Module 4: Improving Communication in the Clinical Setting

Module 4: Improving Communication in the Clinical Setting


Interactive Monograph

Time to Complete

1 hour


April 20, 2018


April 20, 2019

Educational Partner

This is Module 4 in the HealthHIV HIV Primary Care Training and Certificate Program.

Maximum Credits

1.00 / AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM

Accredited Provider

This activity is jointly provided by Postgraduate Institute for Medicine and HealthHIV.

Commercial Supporter

This activity is not supported by educational grants.

Program Description

CDC estimates that the levels of adherence needed to maximize treatment benefits may range from at least 80% to at least 95% of doses taken as prescribed.1 Unfortunately, the CDC estimates that 85% of people living with HIV have a diagnosis, but only 62% have been prescribed ART and 49% are virally suppressed.2

Communication and patient education are central strategies to optimize adherence and engagement in care. Many providers will benefit from improved communication and educational tools. Indeed, surveys suggest that providers overestimate patients’ understanding of HIV and its treatments. Because of the complexity of HIV infection and its common comorbidities, patients with HIV often require management by a variety of specialists, introducing another layer to the need for open and clear communication. In this activity you will learn how to how to identify and overcome barriers to adherence, utilize patient education and communication tools, assess patients’ health literacy and beliefs, and coordinate communication across multiple providers.

Module 4 of HealthHIV’s HIV Primary Care Training and Certificate Program is designed to provide primary care providers and staff a sound overview of best practices regarding communication with patients and other providers, with a focus on optimizing adherence and engagement in care. This activity will present a second visit with a middle-aged woman being treated for HIV/HCV co-infection.
As a learner, you will have the opportunity to assess her clinical situation, using the initial chart information provided, and participate in a discussion with clinical experts to determine the key issues in the case.

Intended Audience

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of primary care physicians, and other allied healthcare professionals who treat and care for patients with HIV/AIDS.

Educational Objectives

After completing this activity, the participant will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Assess patients' health literacy and health beliefs
  • Employ evidence-based techniques to foster open patient-provider communication
  • Describe methods for coordination of care between primary care and specialist settings
  • Identify barriers to patient adherence in HIV-infected individuals and methods to overcome these barriers

Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest

Postgraduate Institute of Medicine (PIM) requires instructors, planners, managers, and other individuals who are in a position to control the content of this activity to disclose any real or apparent conflict of interest (COI) they may have as related to the content of this activity. All identified COI are thoroughly vetted and resolved according to PIM policy. PIM is committed to providing its learners with high quality CME activities and related materials that promote improvements or quality in healthcare and not a specific proprietary business interest of a commercial interest.


Jonathan S. Appelbaum, MD, FACP, AAHIVS
Laurie L. Dozier Jr., MD Education Director and Professor of Internal Medicine
Chair, Department of Clinical Sciences
Florida State University College of Medicine
Tallahassee, FL

Dr. Appelbaum discloses the following:
Consultant: Merck and Viiv

Susan LeLacheur, DrPH, PA-C
Associate Professor of Physician Assistant Studies, Assistant Professor
Department of Health Care Sciences School of Medicine and Health Sciences
George Washington University
Washington, DC

Dr. LeLacheur has no financial relationship to disclose.

Planners and Managers Disclosure

The PIM planners and managers, Trace Hutchinson, PharmD, Samantha Mattiucci, PharmD, CHCP, Judi Smelker-Mitchek, MBS, MSN, RN, and Jan Schultz, MSN, RN, CHCP, have nothing to disclose. The HealthHIV planners and managers Dana Cropper-Williams, Brian Hujdich, Sibyl Wilmont, and Michael Shankle, MPH, have nothing to disclose.




AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM

Accreditation Statement

In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine and HealthHIV.  Postgraduate Institute for Medicine is jointly accredited by the American Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Designation Statement

The Postgraduate Institute for Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 0.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM  . Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

Disclosure of Unlabled Use

This educational activity may contain discussion of published and/or investigational uses of agents that are not indicated by the FDA. The planners of this activity do not recommend the use of any agent outside of the labeled indications.
The opinions expressed in the educational activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily represent the views of the planners. Please refer to the official prescribing information for each product for discussion of approved indications, contraindications, and warnings.


Participants have an implied responsibility to use the newly acquired information to enhance patient outcomes and their own professional development. The information presented in this activity is not meant to serve as a guideline for patient management. Any procedures, medication, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed or suggested in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of their patient’s conditions and possible contraindications and/or dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer’s product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities.




To obtain credit, a score of 80% or better on the post-test is required. This activity is offered at no cost to participants. Please proceed with the activity until you have successfully completed this program, answered all test questions, completed the post-test and evaluation, and have received a digital copy of your credit certificate. Your online certificate will be saved on myCME within your Profile/CME History, which you can access at any time.

Privacy Policy

Last Reviewed

This course originally launched 10/1/13 and was updated in January 2018.


Hardware and Software Requirements
  • A computer with an internet connection
  • Internet Browser: Internet Explorer 7.x or higher, Firefox 4.x or higher, Safari 2.x or higher, or any other W3C standards compliant browser
  • Additional Software: Adobe Flash Player and/or an HTML 5 capable browser maybe required for video or audio playback. PowerPoint or Adobe Acrobat Reader may occasionally be required
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