The PEEER Model: Effective Healthcare Team-Patient Communications

Publication ID Published Volume
9360 March 8, 2013 9


Introduction: This resource exposes learners to the challenges involved in effectively communicating within interprofessional teams and between teams, patients and caregivers, and provides learners with a template for overcoming these challenges and optimizing communication. The PEEER (Plain Language, Engagement, Empathy, Empowerment, Respect) model is a new model, grounded in communication and patient safety literature, to teach interprofessional (IP) communication to professionals who will be working in IP teams, and in IP teams with patients and caregivers. Methods: The resource contains three sets of video clips demonstrating good and bad IP communication skills between health professionals and between health professionals and patients/caregivers. Accompanying these videos are worksheets for learners to critique the videos, and facilitator worksheets with prompts to help lead discussion about the good and bad communication skills demonstrated. Finally, the resource contains a learner postassessment which reflects how well they grasped the model components and concepts, and an evaluation of the process. Additional readings with extensive references are also provided. Results: The PEEER model was incorporated into an existing interprofessional education (IPE) activity with health profession students in either their second year of the doctor of medicine (MD) program, third year of the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program, or fourth year of the bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program. The evaluation of the IPE activity was sent to all student participants (119 MD, 124 PharmD, 78 BSN students) and completed surveys were received from 273 of 321 participants (91% MD student response rate, 94% PharmD response rate, 62% BSN response rate). Over 70% of the BSN and PharmD students, and 58% of MD, students agreed or strongly agreed that the PEEER model activity was a valuable education activity. Discussion: The PEEER model can be tailored to complement any curriculum for all levels of learners in any of the health care disciplines. In addition, the PEEER model utilizes communication concepts familiar to most learners and educators, is grounded in the communications literature, and applies those concepts for use in a clinical setting where teams commonly function. The model is easily integrated into either simulated practice (such as in a course) or actual clinical experiences (either inpatient or outpatient situations) and can provide opportunities for the practice and improvement of interprofessional team skills.


Conigliaro R, Kuperstein J, Dupuis J, et al. The PEEER model: effective healthcare team-patient communications. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2013;9:9360.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this session, learners will be able to:

  1. Identify the unique characteristics of team-patient-caregiver communication in health care.
  2. Describe the PEEER Model.
  3. Explain the five skill categories needed to achieve effective team-patient-caregiver communication.
  4. Recognize and describe examples of effective and ineffective communication when observed.
  5. Discuss the use of specific skills to achieve effective communication within teams and with patients and their caregivers.


  • Teamwork, Plain Language, Engagement, Empowerment, PEEER, eHealth

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ISSN 2374-8265