The patient was already late when she walked through the door of the Medicine Specialty Clinic (MSC) inside the Pomerantz Family Pavilion. But when she found out her appointment was supposed to be at the Iowa River Landing facility, she thought she would have to reschedule. Instead, Megan Beasmore, Support Services Manager of the MSC, asked one of the providers in the clinic that day if he would be able to fit in the patient. He could and did, and Ms. Beasmore saved the patient a lot of extra time and hassle.
“Little things can add up to a lot,” Ms. Beasmore says. That philosophy has served her well in the last year and a half since taking on this lead role in the MSC.
Originally from Iowa, Ms. Beasmore moved to Phoenix, Arizona, to attend college “just for a semester, just to try it out.” She lived there for around ten years. At the same time as she was studying Health Services Management and Applied Management, Ms. Beasmore was putting what she learned in the classroom into practice in the field.
In her years at Scottsdale Healthcare, she familiarized herself with as many aspects of the industry as she could—from admitting to billing —with greater amounts of responsibility. “The more areas you get exposed to,” she says, “the better understanding you get about how the institution works as a whole. In healthcare, that’s extremely important. There’s what happens when a patient is in the clinic, and then there’s what happens after they leave.” Applying the same amount of attention to the details in both cases, she says, helps you to make sure the patient has the best experience.
Eventually, Ms. Beasmore decided to return to the Iowa City area. The University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics seemed the natural choice for her to continue in her career. In 2013, she joined Patient Financial Services as a Revenue Cycle Coordinator. “I knew how hard it can be to get hired here,” she recalls. “I felt very lucky.” As much as she enjoyed that position, the urge to get exposed to more and to better align her skills to the institution’s needs led her to apply for her current position in the MSC in early 2015.
Managing the day-to-day operations of the MSC, together with her counterpart from Nursing, is a massive challenge, but Ms. Beasmore handles it with grace and good humor. Anywhere from 100 to 200 outpatients a day will be seen by a provider from one of seven different subspecialties: Endocrinology, Pulmonary, Infectious Diseases, Renal, Allergy, Rheumatology, or General Medicine. Managing the scheduling of all those patients and those faculty physicians and fellows, as well as coordinating it with the nursing staff, is only one task among many that Ms. Beasmore supervises.
In the year and a half since she joined the MSC, Ms. Beasmore has introduced a number of process improvements that have produced dramatic results. The MSC has reduced some wait-times that new patients experience before they can get an appointment. She has also worked to increase the amount of teamwork between the UI Patient Appointment Center (PAC) staff and her own MSC staff, inviting PAC schedulers to spend a day or part of a day in the MSC observing the operation first-hand and getting to know the providers. “It’s hard to have that team mentality when you’re not all together.” Those little things, Ms. Beasmore emphasizes, really start to add up.
The people she encounters each day see the difference Ms. Beasmore makes. “In the short time that I’ve worked with her,” Immunology Division Director Dr. Scott Vogelgesang says, “I’ve found Megan to be exuberantly enthusiastic, focused on excellence in patient care. She is always open to new ideas.” Nephrology Division Coordinator Lisa Novak says, “She’s very reliable and follows up on issues she’s been dealt.” MSC Administrator Karissa Pinkerman agrees: “She faces challenges head-on and is always seeking creative ways to improve the clinic. Her enthusiasm and passion for people really shine.”
Ms. Beasmore’s boundless energy and problem-solving skills will only continue to benefit the MSC. In addition to her efforts to reduce wait times further, decrease the amount of “no-show” patients, and fill the resulting gaps in a provider’s schedule, she is currently developing a Sharepoint site for the MSC that will allow everyone to access and exchange pertinent information. Ms. Beasmore is constantly looking for ways to increase the teamwork and the morale of her colleagues. But she is quick to acknowledge that “none of the MSC’s successes would be possible without everyone on the team working toward the same goal.”
When Ms. Beasmore is not strategizing over schedules or fine-tuning a letter to a patient, she is pursuing a degree in Business Analytics. She also spends time with her husband, whom she married earlier this year. They met on RAGBRAI through a mutual friend of her sister’s, when Ms. Beasmore joined his team for a few days. Although long, statewide bike rides or any other travel plans this summer aren’t in the cards as they recover from the wedding and honeymoon, Ms. Beasmore says that a trip to New York in the fall isn’t out of the question. If anyone could find room in a schedule for it, we know she could.