Elizabeth Wanielista, professor of office and medical office administration

Next in our series about the endowed chair projects.

ElizaBetty head shotbeth (Betty) Wanielista is a professor in the department of office and medical office administration at the East Campus. As we all know, medical office administration is a field that is—even more than most—changing rapidly.

Professor Wanielista is using her grant from the John and Florence MacLeod Chair in Business to upgrade the medical office administration program at Valencia. She says, “The medical office is rapidly changing. Electronic health records, ICD-10 coding and scribes are being added to the medical environment.” ICD-10 coding is used by medical professionals to receive reimbursement for services rendered. Scribes accompany doctors and input the doctor’s findings into a tablet/computer to be transcribed and placed in the patient’s medical records.

As a result, Professor Wanielista has identified the medical office administration program as an area that needs to be reviewed for potential new courses. “I plan to visit and interview individuals in medical facilities to find out what new technology and duties have been added for a medical employee.”

To that end, she also planned to attend a conference in October and visit medical facilities.

“Over the course of this evaluation, I’ll also obtain information on what software and hardware are used by medical employees. I’ll investigate duties of medical employees at the front desk and in the back office.”

Professor Wanielista will secure information on use of transcriptionists in medical offices and investigate soft skills needed by medical employees. She will also acquire knowledge of the use of electronic health record software—a huge issue as both the population ages and the use of computers becomes more widespread.

The outcome of her exploration will be the presentation of potential curriculum to the OST Advisory Board for review and comment. (The OST Advisory Board is the Office Systems Technology Advisory Board, which meets twice a year to keep Valencia faculty abreast of the needs of the outside world and informs Valencia faculty of the technology used and the skills needed in future employees.)

The development of curriculum materials for the medical office administration program to be presented to the OST faculty and the curriculum committee.

Professor Wanielista adds “students will benefit from the updated medical office administration program by entering the workforce with knowledge of current software, hardware and useful skills that are relevant to what the employer is seeking.” In other words, the result of her project will be students who are better prepared for the “real world” they’ll face.

Professor Wanielista has been with Valencia since 1994.

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