Skip to main content

The Telephone & Telemedicine in Clinical Medicine: Instruments of Opportunity & Risk - 3 CME Credits

A case-based course for improving quality of care while reducing risk in pediatric and adult medicine

Start Date: Jun 12, 2019
Duration: ~ 3 hours
Price: $149

Course Description

Course registration is currently closed while we upgrade our learning platform with enhanced functionality and self-service options for learners. If you would like to be notified when the course re-opens in March 2020, please click here.

While the telephone can facilitate patient care, it can also be risky business for both the patient and the clinician, often with serious consequences that include patient complaints, legal action, and at worst, serious adverse clinical outcomes.

The goal of this telephone medicine course is to illustrate, using real-life case scenarios, potential areas of risk that can be eliminated or reduced to improve the outcome of clinical problems presented when encountering patients over the phone.

This course is designed for primary care physicians, family care and specialty physicians, physician assistants, nurses, and nurse practitioners. Registrants participate in the learning process by answering multiple-choice questions that are dispersed throughout the case presentations. A variety of media, including audio clips of sample phone conversations, are presented to enhance the material.

The Telephone & Telemedicine in Clinical Medicine: An Instrument of Opportunity & Risk is available until June 30, 2022. Enrollment ends May 30, 2022.

What You'll Learn

  • Review standards and protocols designed to reduce malpractice suits by improving the quality of care and service provided over the telephone in office-based practice
  • Identify the areas of greatest risk in patient care
  • Identify the key elements in providing the highest quality of telephone medicine
  • Review the distinction between telephone medicine, telehealth, telemedicine, and direct-to-consumer telemedicine
  • Describe practical tips for practitioners in non-face-to-face encounters with patients


Harvey P. Katz, MD

Harvey P. Katz, MD Senior Associate, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and Harvard Medical School Department of Population Medicine; Corresponding Member of the Faculty, Harvard Medical School


The Telephone in Clinical Medicine: An Instrument of Risk and Opportunity is organized as follows:

Precourse Information:
Accreditation and AMA Credit Designation
Disclosure Statement
How to Take This Course
Grading and Certificates

Chapter 1: Instruments of Opportunity and Risk
Chapter 2: What Makes a High Quality Telephone Care System?
Chapter 3: Assessing the Effectiveness of Your Telephone Care
Chapter 4: Summing It Up: Practical Tips

CME Certificate
CME Posttest
Course Evaluation



The Harvard Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.


The Harvard Medical School designates this enduring material for a maximum of 3 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Risk Management

This activity meets the criteria of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine for 3 credits of Risk Management Study. Please check your individual state licensing board requirements before claiming these credits.


Disclosure Policy

Harvard Medical School has long held the standard that its continuing medical education courses be free of commercial bias.

In accord with the disclosure policy of the Medical School as well as standards set forth by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), course planners, speakers, and content reviewers have been asked to disclose any relevant relationship they, or their spouse or partner, have to companies producing, marketing, re-selling or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients. In addition, faculty have been asked to list any off-label uses of pharmaceuticals and/or devices for investigational or non-FDA approved purposes that they plan to discuss.

Such disclosure is not intended to suggest or condone bias in any presentation, but is elicited to provide the course director and participants with information that might be of potential importance to their evaluation of a given presentation.

Disclosure Statement

All individuals including course directors, planners, reviewers, faculty, staff, etc., who are in a position to control the content of this educational activity have, on behalf of themselves and their spouse or partner, reported no financial relationships related to the content of this activity.


Harvey P. Katz, MD is a senior associate in the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and Harvard Medical School Department of Population Medicine, and corresponding member of the faculty at the Harvard Medical School where he was the director of the Primary Care Clerkship and Primary Care Division. Dr. Katz is a pediatrician with a subspecialty in pediatric endocrinology. Formerly, Dr. Katz was a health center medical director for the Harvard Community Health Plan. His residency training was at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and endocrine fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Katz has a long-standing interest in teaching and patient-clinician communication. He is author of Telephone Medicine: Triage and Training for Primary Care (FA Davis, 2001). Dr. Katz was also deputy director of Pri-Med, Current Clinical Issues in Primary Care, the Harvard Medical School course in primary care, which is conducted in Boston and six other venues across the country.


The Telephone in Clinical Medicine: An Instrument of Risk and Opportunity:
Original Release: 9/5/2006
Most Recent Update: 4/30/2019


How long will this course take?

This course should take approximately 3 hours to complete. You do not need to complete it all at once. You may come back as often as you like.

How long will this course be available?

This self-paced course will close enrollments one year after its start date.

What web browser should I use?

The platform works best with current versions of Chrome, Firefox, or Safari, or with Internet Explorer version 11 and above. See our list of supported browsers for the most up-to-date information.

What if I want to learn more about this topic?

HMS Continuing Education holds live topic-focused conferences throughout the year. Please see our course catalog for upcoming events.