Telemedicine: Communicating About Health by Phone or 2-Way Video (HLOL #209)

Cliff Coleman M.D., M.P.H. is an Associate Professor of Family Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. Dr. Coleman practices as a family medicine physician at a Federally Qualified Health Center. His clinical interests include treating medically complex individuals and underserved populations. Dr. Coleman is also a national health literacy expert. His ongoing research and teaching help lead the way toward health literacy competencies for all health professionals.

In this podcast, Dr. Cliff Coleman talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • A new era of delivering healthcare at a distance brought on by necessity during COVID-19.
  • Telemedicine benefits and drawbacks for patients, practitioners, and populations.
  • Lessons learned about effective communication. These include ways to establish a mutual agenda, encourage conversational turn-taking, discuss potentially awkward topics, and confirm understanding at the conclusion of telemedicine visits.

More ways to learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Especially relevant to this podcast is Chapter 24, “Listening and Speaking.”

Read a transcript of this podcast


  1. Good morning Dr. Cliff Coleman

    Thank you for sharing. I wanted to reach out to provide you with some insights on how Care2Talk is using video based communication to help seniors connect to loved ones effortlessly.

    Care2Talk is an iOS/Android App that uses a specially designed interface on a mobile or tablet device to create an easy-to-use video chat tool for those with cognitive decline, or other impairments, which may make alternatives difficult to navigate. This includes conditions associated with:

    -Aging & Dementia
    -Cognitive and Developmental Disabilities
    -Brain Injuries
    -Vision and hearing Impairment (CC)
    -Physical Disabilities

    We’re currently working with the Ministry of Social Development and the Canadian Mental Health Association to ease the communication hurdles between seniors and their family and friends.

    More information can be found here >>

    Would you have time for a 30min conversation next week?

    Look forward to connecting, have a wonderful day.

    Jordan Schley

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