Billingslea Takes Leadership Role at University Hospitals, Cleveland
School of Library and Information Science alumna Bridgette Billingslea of Cleveland Hts., Ohio, was recently promoted to Patient Access Supervisor at the University Hospitals of Cleveland, where she began as a front desk medical receptionist. She now supervises staff members of four outpatient ambulatory medical centers throughout Northeast Ohio, with a fifth clinic in the works.
Billingslea received a bachelor’s degree in history from The Ohio State University before receiving her Master of Library and Information Science degree at Kent State University in 2012, and her Master of Science (with a concentration in Health Informatics) in 2013. She received the 2011-2012 Diversity Scholarship from the Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) while a SLIS student.
In Billingslea’s new position at UH, she trains and supervises 10 clinical and administrative staff members in outpatient centers. Her role varies each day as the medical field changes, and she must also keep her staff up-to-date with any new developments.
“In my job, we are in perpetual training mode,” Billingslea said. “All the staff has to constantly be trained because health care is always evolving. So it's my job to keep up with all the updates and make sure my staff is kept up-to-date.”
Key information she shares with her staff include UH policies and procedures, training and registration for electronic medical records (EMR), training with senior staff members, clinic rotations and other duties. The staff must also know about compliance and ethics issues, as well as information technology changes that may arise.
Billingslea is responsible for not only hiring and training staff, but also maintaining the electronic medical records, purchasing medical supplies and equipment and leasing clinical space to specialty physicians.
“The program definitely prepared me for my promotion,” Billingslea said of Kent State’s graduate health informatics program. “I found my classes and lectures as well as the articles and materials provided to be very timely. We would often have real world case studies that tied right in with what was going on at work.”
Billingslea said her group work in the Health Information Systems class was challenging, but a great precursor to the work she does day-to-day in her current job.
“Also, Health Records Management was great because it touched on health information systems, electronic medical records, patient privacy and HIPAA,” she added. “Privacy and HIPAA are big issues, and I actually have to speak with someone in the Legal and Compliance departments about once per month on matters related to consent forms, parent and guardianship issues and who should be allowed access to children's medical records etc.”
Billingslea said she believes the “environment is ripe for HI grads,” and that having the M.S. concentration in health informatics enhanced her resume and career opportunities.
She offers this advice to current and future Kent State HI students: “Northeast Ohio is saturated with health care systems, freestanding ambulatory clinics and physicians’ offices. The key is to not box yourself into thinking that you are only going to do one thing; keep your mind and options open and be prepared to move rapidly when opportunities present themselves because, again, health care is evolving quickly.”