Francisca Cativo is a master of schedules. For the last 19 years, Cativo has worked at The George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates (GW MFA) to help patients get the health care they need, though few patients will ever see her face or hear her voice. From her earliest days in the Contact Center to her current position as a master scheduler supervisor, leading a team working to create better templates to allow scheduling staff to easily and accurately schedule patient visits, Cativo has worked to make the first step in the patient experience a sure and steady one.
Q: What is your role at the GW MFA and what does it entail?
Cativo: My current role is master scheduler supervisor. I am responsible for training my staff to create and maintain provider templates among other template-related aspects. I am responsible for ensuring that my team and our internal customers are utilizing established protocols/workflows to ensure communication for clinic closures, accurately handling template changes, and providing best practice service. My team and I currently manage templates for most of the organizations departments, including the Departments of Medicine, Neurology, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedic Surgery, and Urology.
Q: How long have you been with the GW MFA?
Cativo: On May 13, I will have been with GW MFA for 19 years. When I first joined, I started out in the Contact Center scheduling appointments for the Department of Medicine, which back then included pediatrics. About a year later, I moved into the role of master scheduler, still under the Department of Medicine, and I did that for about 10 years. Then, I transferred to an executive associate role for the Division of Infectious Diseases under the Department of Medicine Vice Chair Dr. Gary Simon. After about a year, I was offered the role of master scheduler supervisor, which I have done for six, going on seven years now.
Q: What did you do before joining the GW MFA?
Cativo: I have been working in health care since I was in high school. I started my first health care job as an after-school intern at GW Hospital in the customer service department, and I’ve been in health care ever since working in large organizations as well as private practice. Prior to joining GW MFA, I worked for a radiology organization.
Q: Was there a moment during your time at GW MFA where you realized the impact your role has on the organization and on patients?
Cativo: Every role in the organization plays an impact on patient care, even the role of my team and I, which has no direct patient contact. We are responsible for ensuring that templates are built accurately to allow for scheduling staff to easily make the appointments that bring that patients to the organization.
Q: What excites you the most about your role?
Cativo: I like to troubleshoot and brainstorm ways that we can make things better. I am motivated by being able to come up with creative ideas to improve the workflows that would help others with their day-to-day work.