“Our assistant medical director provided us with the opportunity to take the R.E.D.E. course through Cleveland Clinic where we spent a day working on communication skills. It seemed like any another class, and I had taken several communication classes as part of my undergraduate career. However, this  was an experience I never had before. It taught me a whole new way to communicate more effectively. During the course I was role playing with one of our providers who was acting as frustrated patient calling in. When I answered the call she said “It’s about time you answered the phone. I have been trying to get to you people all day. I am sick and I am tiered of calling and calling when you never answer!” In that moment I froze. I looked at one of the instructors and said I don’t know how to respond. How could I comfort a patient who is so hurt and frustrated? What could I possibly do to build any kind of relationship with this patient without escalating the scenario? He helped me apply the R.E.D.E. Model to the situation. Using the mnemonic S.A.V.E., I learned how to use empathy to support the patient by responding with “It is so difficult to get through on the phones here, and I am so glad that we are talking now”. Acknowledging the hardship and struggles each patient has was a breakthrough in communication. Immediately when I implemented this in the office, I watched patients open up to me. They would tell me everything going on, what they were afraid of, what they were hoping for, and their frustrations. We were able to set an agenda in our conversation, so I could help meet all their needs and expectations. I finally began to understand how much the R.E.D.E. model improved the entire work atmosphere. My job changed, and more importantly I changed the way I communicated with patients. In return, the patients began to trust me and our relationships improved greatly. The R.E.D.E. Model is not only helpful for providers; it is helpful for the whole office. When patients call in the first person they interact with is the receptionist. If I can establish a good relationship as a foundation, it allows the provider a stage to continue to build trust and care for the patient. As I continue in the medical field there is no doubt in my mind that the R.E.D.E. model was the best preparation I have had to effectively communicate and build relationships with patients.” -Anonymous