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Employee Spotlight - Betsy Mazzoleni: Keeping Her Pulse on the Patients

Betsy Mazzoleni

As Alicare Medical Management's (AMM) new RN Manager for 24 Hour Services, Betsy Mazzoleni oversees the company's Nurse Advice Line. Her unique background in management, technology and critical nursing made her the ideal candidate for the position. Below, Betsy shares her perspective on the challenges and joys of her job, as well as the future of the medical management industry.

Describe working for Alicare Medical Management. How do the environment and people empower you?
A typical workday for me now is a mix of taking triage calls, meeting with managers and staff, reviewing reporting applications, and gathering multi-state licensure information. AMM's nationwide client base makes our nursing telehealth practice a very exciting, challenging specialty.
Our staff is truly top-notch. Since I started here, I've been warmly welcomed, and that makes all the difference in the world.

What are the challenges you face in your job, and how do you overcome them?
The multi-state licensure process is an ongoing responsibility for nurses at AMM. I'm following up now with staff about this as well as applying for endorsements myself. I've also contacted legislators in Massachusetts in support of their Nurse Compact License Bill in hopes of minimizing multi-state nurse licensing requirements for our MA RNs, now and in the future.

What happens when AMM receives a patient call at the call center?
When the 24-Hour Call Center gets an incoming call to its nursing triage staff, the nurse who receives the call assesses the caller's needs. Then, using the nursing process and following established triage guidelines, the nurse determines the level of priority for patient referral and provides care advice, health information, and/or follow-up calls.
     Customer service is an important component of nursing triage. Triage nurses focus on the patient or caller but also need to be aware of AMM's client nuances and contractual agreements. Triage nurses need to understand these relationships and adjust their processes per client contract agreement, paging MDs, faxing triage encounter documents, and relaying special care instructions. When we get a call at AMM's 24-Hour Call Center, we strive to give the caller the very best advice with the information given. Sometimes it's a challenge, but the AMM staff is both dedicated and professional, allowing us to assist the caller in the very best way possible.

Tell us about your past nursing experiences and how these roles have contributed to success in your current career.
I spent most of my nursing career as a critical care nurse, and more recently in ambulatory care. Nursing is so specialized. As an ICU nurse, I worked with adults in a controlled setting with a lot of machines, while my time in urgent care was devoted to broken bones, cuts and kids! But switching roles only makes you clinically stronger, and gives you a deeper appreciation of the work others do. I think I have a unique perspective because of it. Part of my ongoing education is and has been in project management, computer applications and online technologies, all of which contribute in a positive way to my current role.

What specific achievements qualify you for the AMM position?
At Dartmouth-Hitchcock, I was fully immersed in a statewide healthcare network functioning in multiple roles that allowed me to triage, manage clinical projects across divisions and clinical departments, and write healthcare content for internal and pubic audiences. As an ICU nurse at Lahey Clinic, I also served as an editor and contributor for their nursing newsletter and, as a weekend charge nurse, helped determine staffing patterns and patient triaging.
     I'm quite proud of the fact that while earning my first master's degree I earned an EVVY nomination at Emerson College for producing an interactive ACLS game. I also worked with nationally renowned critical care nurse educator Barbara Clark Mims on developing a prototype online nursing community for CEUs.
     I think my varied background is extremely useful as I fulfill my duties at AMM. I am currently enrolled in a master of science in nursing program.

What changes are occurring in the medical management field today, and how is AMM prepared to handle them?
The increasing use of technology and the portability of health records are changing the healthcare landscape and revolutionizing how providers communicate, document and share information with their patients. Telehealth nursing, specifically, is uniquely positioned to grow because of its quick response time, effectiveness and efficiency for both patients and providers.
In this area, AMM has an edge over local call centers because our multi-state patient base keeps its nursing staff fluent with established triage protocols and best practices. AMM is presently considering a new triage platform that will bring even stronger support to its nursing telehealth service. These are exciting times for us!

Where do you see the industry in the next few years?
Technology will definitely continue to evolve and affect how AMM interfaces with patients and clients. It's also looking as if a younger, more mobile generation may spur a movement toward using texting, web chats, social media and other means of communication that the medical management field must be aware of.

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