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Dynamite De-escalation
Stupendous Soft Skills

An example of PHI (protected health information).

What are names, dates, phone numbers, addresses, social security numbers, diagnoses, account numbers, test results, etc.?


Government funded insurance program for low-income individuals.

What is Medicaid?


The acronym KISS stand for...

What is Keep It Short & Simple?


What to say when you need to convey empathy:

  • “The problem you experienced is no more acceptable to us than it was to you.”
  • “It must have been very frustrating for you to…”
  • “It must seem like these things take forever.”

Which soft skill does this describe? Understanding what the patient is feeling from their perspective.

What is Empathy?


Another name for accessing the minimum amount necessary for them to do the job.

What is "need to know" basis?


Government funded insurance program for individuals age 65+, disabled individuals under 65, those with end stage renal disease, and ALS.

What is Medicare?


Place where you can find UPMC Templates and Style Guides.

What is the Infonet?


What to say to the yelling or cursing caller:

  • “I’m trying to help you, but if you continue to yell and swear, I am going to ask that you call back another time. It’s up to you…which would you prefer?”
  • “I’m sorry. It isn’t possible to help while listening to that language. If it stops, I can help.”
  • “If a few minutes helps you calm down before we continue, that would be fine. You can certainly call me back.”
  • “I want to help you, yet the language is getting in the way.”

Which soft skill does this describe? Accepting or tolerating delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. Hint: "______ is a virtue."

What is Patience?


A form that can be filled out by a patient authorizing another individual to speak on their behalf.

What is a PRD (Personal Representative Designation)?


Type of health insurance purchased by an individual or a family through the marketplace, directly from private insurers, or through employers.

What is a Commercial or Private Insurance?


Examples of tools or methods used to get organized before crafting emails, reports, or documents.

What is brainstorm, outline, dictionary, thesaurus, or search engine?


What to say to the caller who wants to speak to a supervisor:

  • “I’m sorry you feel you need to speak with someone else, but that’s the reason I’m here. I have been given full authority to help resolve your concerns. May I have the opportunity to resolve this first?
  • “Please give me an opportunity to try and resolve this for you. That’s why I’m here.”
  • "I'd be happy to connect you with my supervisor to further assist. Do you mind if I place you on a brief hold while I bring them on the call?"

Which soft skill does this describe? Making a conscious effort to not only hear the words being said, but to understand the complete message. Hint: keyword is listening

What is Active Listening?


A third party designated by a patient with who may act on behalf of the patient. Hint: legally binding document

Who is a POA (Power of Attorney)?


Health care providers or facilities who contract with a health insurance plan to offer services at a discounted rate to the plan members. Plan members usually pay less for services from these participating providers/facilities.

What is In-Network?


Examples of things to avoid when crafting any professional writing include:

What is misspelling, ALL CAPS, run-on sentences, bad tone, no punctuation, overuse of exclamation points, replying all when unnecessary?


What to say when you want to apologize for an issue the patient is frustrated about:

  • “Please accept my sincere apology for any frustration this may have caused you.”
  • “I am sorry for any misunderstanding you may have experienced.”

Which soft skill does this describe? Being optimistic about situations, interactions and yourself. Hint: opposite of negative

What is a Positive Attitude?


Under PA law, minors can consent confidentially to these medical services.

What are Contraceptives, Emergency Contraception, Pregnancy Treatment and Testing, Abortion Services, STD Treatment and Testing, Drug and Alcohol Treatment, Mental Health Care (Inpatient and Outpatient)?


Health care providers or facilities who are not contracted with a health insurance plan. Patients can expect to pay much more than if they were to go to these non-participating providers/facilities.

What is Out-of-Network?


Before sending an email that contains PHI, the subject line should include this.

What is "Secure:" to encrypt the email?


What to say to the caller who is demanding unreasonable requests that are not feasible:

  • “Your request goes beyond my authority. I will however, contact the right people and have someone who can help call you back.”
  • “I know you would like an immediate response, and I wish that were possible. This request requires input from other people. I assure you I will locate the appropriate person who will get back in touch with you.”
  • Reiterate what you know, what you can do, and what they can expect.
  • “I don’t want to further disappoint you. I want to be honest about what we can do for you.”
  • Be honest with the Caller.
  • Do not let the Caller make you give an immediate response.
  • Do not make any promises you can’t keep.

Which soft skill does this describe? The imparting or exchanging of information or news from one person to another. Hint: can be written, spoken, or non-verbal 

What is Communication?