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Staff Spotlight: Tina Tolomeo focuses on efficiency

October 28, 2013

APRN’s most recent accomplishment: organizing onboarding

More than 100 new physicians are joining Yale Medical Group (YMG) this year, and the Department of Pediatrics is welcoming 19. Concettina Tolomeo, APRN, led a new effort to bring them on board as efficiently as possible.

“Our goal was to have each new faculty member ready to see patients in the clinic and the hospital within two weeks of arriving,” she said. “Although 19 recruits is a lot for our department, by and large, the system we developed is really helping us meet our goal.”

Tolomeo, who is the director of program development and operations in pediatrics, began her career as a student clinical assistant in the Infant-Toddler Unit at Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH) in 1988. After taking on a variety of other positions, she was appointed director of program development in the Section of Pediatric Respiratory Medicine. Tolomeo completed her bachelor’s in nursing and master’s in nursing administration, followed by a post-masters family nurse practitioner certificate, at Southern Connecticut State University. She obtained her doctorate in clinical leadership from Case Western Reserve University.

Tolomeo has published extensively, served as a subject matter expert for various patient education related organizations, and was the first certified asthma educator in the state of Connecticut. She has held faculty appointments, including instructor, lecturer and courtesy faculty at Yale School of Nursing, Quinnipiac University School of Health Sciences, Southern Connecticut State University and Fairfield University.

“I have a hand in just about every aspect of the practice, from marketing and business plan development to clinical operations,” said Tolomeo. “But my main focus is trying to streamline things, make our processes more efficient, and develop metrics that can enable us to provide better care for our patients. It’s a wide-ranging job, and it’s continually evolving.”

Her transformation of the onboarding process started with the creation of a committee of department stakeholders who would be able to determine what would work best for pediatrics. “While we don’t want to take a cookie-cutter approach, we need to make sure that none of the critical steps are missed,” she says. “In the past, onboarding in our department included a lot of the same steps we use now. The difference was, they weren’t always happening in the same order or at the same pace. Now we use timelines. ”

She and her colleagues have decided that some steps are critical to successful onboarding. They include: submission of credentialing and licensing paperwork in a timely manner, early Epic electronic medical record training, and quick addition of each new recruit to the centralized call center.

“We’re currently rolling out another aspect of onboarding; a comprehensive checklist for administrative assistants that will cover every aspect of the recruiting and office assimilation process,” said Tolomeo. “I’m working on standardization so that all of the things that need to occur do so in an orderly and efficient manner.”

Pediatrics Chair George Lister, MD, admires Tolomeo’s approach. “Tina has a remarkable capacity to take an important process that involves multiple individuals and responsibilities, and organize this in a transparent and orderly manner so that everyone can follow the steps,” he said. “This is an invaluable skill in a medical center with multiple groups that have multiple goals.”

Tolomeo said, “My job is to help make our organization better.”

Submitted by Claire M. Bessinger - Van Graan on October 25, 2013