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Job Details

Penn Medicine

Communications Specialist Call Center


Clinical Care Specialist/Staff Nurse


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States


Penn Medicine is dedicated to our tripartite mission of providing the highest level of care to patients, conducting innovative research, and educating future leaders in the field of medicine. Working for this leading academic medical center means collaboration with top clinical, technical and business professionals across all disciplines.

Today at Penn Medicine, someone will make a breakthrough. Someone will heal a heart, deliver hopeful news, and give comfort and reassurance. Our employees shape our future each day. Are you living your life's work?

Entity: Corporate

Department: Contact Center PAH

Location: 3930 Chestnut Street

Hours: On-Site, Occasional remote work may be available. Training will be on 2nd shift, however, once training is completed there is the possibility to work other shifts than 2nd shift.

Position Description:

The Communication Specialist, Corporate Operator Services (COS), answers and processes calls within the three-shift 24/7 Contact Center for all hospitals within the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS). The Contact Center manages the phone queues for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), Penn Presbyterian Medical Center (PPMC), Pennsylvania Hospital (PAH), Good Shepherd Penn Partners (GSPP), and HUP Cedar.

The Communication Specialist plays a key role as the "face of UPHS hospitals" and serves to provide an excellent experience to all callers. S/he has direct and daily phone contact with UPHS and non-UPHS callers, patients, physicians, hospital clinical and administrative staff, other departments across the health system, and the general public.

The position provides information for all UPHS hospitals, call transfers to hospital patients and departments, and a variety of other services. The Communication Specialist processes answering service calls for physicians and hospitals and provides on-call information to medical clinicians. S/he processes priority (code and STAT) calls, documents clinical and non-clinical emergencies, and dispatches medical practitioners to patient locations in a timely and accurate manner.

The Communication Specialist is proficient in the use of the Contact Center's communication technology (e.g., MediCall, eNotify, WebXchange, QGenda, Avaya) to process calls according to UPHS and hospital policies, procedures, and guidelines. This position requires quick thinking and a clear and concise communication style. The Communication Specialist must remain calm and careful, especially when performing urgent call processes. S/he must display human qualities of empathy, compassion, kindness, and patience. The position must exemplify Penn Medicine Core Values and exhibit solid Customer Service skills, a patient-centric attitude, a collaborative team spirit, and the ability to think critically.


  • Answers and correctly processes incoming/outgoing calls for all hospitals within the University of Pennsylvania Healthcare System (UPHS).
    • Processes and maintains phone queues by answering calls for main numbers, physician answering service, internal “0” calls, and priority lines for all Penn Medicine hospitals.
    • Provides quick and professional response to all call inquiries via communication technology and the use of online reference materials; effectively manages and efficiently uses all resources.
  • Performs daily call handling functions for all UPHS hospitals and physicians, including:
    • Provides callers with patient and hospital information; seeks out/researches appropriate answers as appropriate.
    • Transfers callers to patient rooms or hospital/clinical/administrative departments.
    • Handles answering service calls and overhead paging.
    • Provides on-call information and processing.
    • Processes priority/emergency calls.
  • Proficiently uses the department’s communication technology (e.g., MediCall, eNotify, WebXchange, QGenda, Avaya) to process calls according to UPHS and hospital policies, procedure, and guidelines.
  • Processes and documents all code, STAT, trauma, and fire calls as well as internal/external disaster plan calls accurately and according to departmental procedures.
  • Monitors and responds to all alarms located in the Contact Center; notifies necessary personnel according to departmental procedures.
  • Enters complete, detailed, and easy-to-understand messages for physician answering service and overhead paging in the COS communication console system.
  • Handles physician on-call communication and processing, including:
    • Demonstrates thorough understanding of UPHS physician on-call schedules; correctly pages the appropriate on-call physician on a 24/7 basis.
    • Delivers physician answering service messages to the on-call physician within an appropriate timeframe based on the clinical nature of the message.
    • Assists in entry of on-call schedules in appropriate databases, as appropriate.
    • Accepts basic on-call coverage changes; relays information to other Communication Specialists, as appropriate.
    • Transfers calls regarding complex on-call changes to a Lead Communication Specialist.
  • Preserves confidentiality, privacy (HIPAA), and dignity of patients, visitors, and staff according to hospital policy.
  • Understands and operates all back-up and disaster recovery functions including:
    • Software failsafe mode
    • Digital and overhead paging systems
    • Evacuation and disaster recovery procedures
    • Disaster recovery location equipment
  • Utilizes TDD phone for call processing with a hearing-impaired customer.
  • Participates in group activations utilizing eNotify software.
  • Supports onboarding, orientation, and training of new-hires via side-by-side observations and support; provides support to co-workers collegially as they become proficient with the processes/procedures of each hospital.
  • Consistently meets acceptable monthly phone availability measures.
  • Recommends improvement to work processes, systems, Customer Service, etc., as relevant and appropriate.
  • Performs special projects and other duties as directed by a Lead Communications Specialist, Acting Lead Communication Specialist, or Contact Center Manager.
  • Demonstrates responsiveness to work expectations; works as scheduled; exhibits regular and punctual attendance.
  • Follows COS policies for time-off requests.
    • Attends and participates in regularly scheduled operational meetings; reviews all minutes.
    • Follows Penn Medicine and COS Customer Service guidelines with all callers.
    • Speaks in a professional manner with all callers and Penn Medicine co-workers.
    • Manages telephone interactions in a prompt, courteous, and informative manner.
    • Listens carefully in order to respond appropriately, answer questions, or obtain needed information.
    • Seeks clarity to ensure understanding; responds promptly and follows through.
    • Presents information accurately, clearly, and concisely to callers and colleagues to ensure their understanding.
    • Prepares concise, accurate, and well-organized documentation, as appropriate.
  • Displays human qualities related to empathy, compassion, kindness, and patience.
  • Displays human qualities related to empathy, compassion, kindness, and patience.
  • Consistently meets acceptable Quality Assurance program scores.
  • Accepts and follows through with constructive feedback, including results of QA monitoring/coaching sessions.
  • Communicates sensitively with patients having possible hearing difficulties or memory/information processing difficulties.
  • Confirms understanding of patient’s needs; arranges for translator or to have an English-speaking person talk with agent on behalf of the caller.
  • Participates in entity and department-wide initiatives for patient/employee safety
  • Demonstrates an awareness of patient/employee safety when carrying out daily responsibilities of the position.
  • Demonstrates an awareness of patient/employee safety when carrying out daily responsibilities of the position.
  • Performs duties in accordance with Penn Medicine and entity values, policies, and procedures
  • Other duties as assigned to support the unit, department, entity, and health system organization

Minimum Requirements

Required Education and Experience

  • H.S. Diploma/GED is required
  • 1+ years Customer Service experience is required

Required Skills and Abilities

  • Demonstrated ability to deliver results on a timely basis
  • Utilizes proper telephone etiquette
  • Basic computer knowledge and skills
  • Computers/Windows and system navigation experience
  • Experience in contact with the general public
  • Experience in hospital communication console systems for texting, paging, on-call scheduling, clinical alerting, etc
  • Must display a pleasing telephone voice and manner, good diction and tone, and professional grammar
  • Must have effective phone contact with UPHS/non-UPHS callers, physicians, hospital staff and the general public
  • Ability to remain calm and careful while performing urgent call processes
  • Ability to read, understand, and follow verbal and written instructions
  • Ability to work within a busy, patient-focused environment; willingness to assist co-workers when needed
  • Ability to maintain a professional demeanor at all times
  • Ability to communicate clearly and concisely
  • Must think critically and act quickly while making accurate decisions, especially during emergency situations
  • Ability to sit for 80% - 90% of the time at a computer
  • Previous experience in a Healthcare Setting
  • Previous experience within Penn Medicine

As part of our COVID-19 response, this position may currently be offering partial or full remote work. However, in the near future this position will require full or partial on-site work.

We believe that the best care for our patients starts with the best care for our employees. Our employee benefits programs help our employees get healthy and stay healthy. We offer a comprehensive compensation and benefits program that includes one of the finest prepaid tuition assistance programs in the region. Penn Medicine employees are actively engaged and committed to our mission. Together we will continue to make medical advances that help people live longer, healthier lives.

Live Your Life's Work

We are an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. Candidates are considered for employment without regard to race, ethnicity, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, familial status, genetic information, domestic or sexual violence victim status, citizenship status, military status, status as a protected veteran or any other status protected by applicable law.