UMMS Affiliation

Meyers Primary Care Institute; Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Health Communication | Health Information Technology | Health Services Administration | Medical Education | Telemedicine


Good clinician-patient communication is essential to provide quality health care and is key to patient-centered care. However, individuals and organizations seeking to improve in this area face significant challenges. A major barrier is the absence of an efficient system for assessing clinicians' communication skills and providing meaningful, individual-level feedback. The purpose of this paper is to describe the design and creation of the Video-Based Communication Assessment (VCA), an innovative, flexible system for assessing and ultimately enhancing clinicians' communication skills. We began by developing the VCA concept. Specifically, we determined that it should be convenient and efficient, accessible via computer, tablet, or smartphone; be case based, using video patient vignettes to which users respond as if speaking to the patient in the vignette; be flexible, allowing content to be tailored to the purpose of the assessment; allow incorporation of the patient's voice by crowdsourcing ratings from analog patients; provide robust feedback including ratings, links to highly rated responses as examples, and learning points; and ultimately, have strong psychometric properties. We collected feedback on the concept and then proceeded to create the system. We identified several important research questions, which will be answered in subsequent studies. The VCA is a flexible, innovative system for assessing clinician-patient communication. It enables efficient sampling of clinicians' communication skills, supports crowdsourced ratings of these spoken samples using analog patients, and offers multifaceted feedback reports.


communication, crowdsourcing, health care, mobile phone, patient-centered care, video-based communication assessment

Rights and Permissions

© Kathleen M Mazor, Ann M King, Ruth B Hoppe, Annie O Kochersberger, Jie Yan, Jesse D Reim. Originally published in JMIR Medical Education (, 14.02.2019. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Medical Education, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

DOI of Published Version



JMIR Med Educ. 2019 Feb 14;5(1):e10400. doi: 10.2196/10400. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

JMIR medical education

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.