Program Secretary II - Rheumatology

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The Program Secretary II - Rheumatology supports the section of Rheumatology. The role is currently held by:

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Physicians supported

 supported by
Dr. Annaliese TisseverasingheMaria Dungca
Dr. Carol HitchonMaria Dungca
Dr. Christine PeschkenLeanne Schmidt
Dr. David RobinsonLeanne Schmidt
Dr. Hani El-GabalawyLeanne Schmidt
Dr. Konstantin JilkineMaria Dungca

See Maria Dungca for list of physicians supported by the Rheumatology secretary.

  • Serves as a main reception at the Arthritis Centre (RR149) for people meeting with Adult Rheumatology and Pediatric Rheumatology staff.
  • Support staff to:
Dr. Christine Peschken and Dr. David Robinson – (for clinical related tasks and inquiries only)
Interro-01.gif That query pulls in what it says on the secretaries' pages, which doesn't seem to jive with this page. Which is right? - Yes. User:Mdungca 16:00, 25 February 2019 (CST)
    • Leanne provides full administrative/secretarial assistance to: Dr. El-Gabalawy, Dr. Robinson and Dr. Peschken, and I am their support staff for clinical related tasks and inquiries (only), as mentioned above.
    • Also, I provide full secretarial assistance to Dr. Hitchon, Dr. Tisseverasinghe and Dr. Jilkine.
    • Clinic is aware of this arrangement, when there is incoming phone call/query it is redirected to the right secretary.


  • Answers the primary phone line (204-787-1851) at RR149 and transfers where appropriate. Also, answers call coming from physicians’ private lines: Drs. Hitchon, Jilkine and Tisseverasinghe (after four rings call is transferred to 204-787-1851).
  • Phone calls related to clinical concerns such as appointments, prescription refill, EDS coverage renewal, lab req, and other clinical issues are transferred to Clinic (204-787-2392).
  • Receive calls from patients following up their insurance forms submitted for completion of Drs. Peschken/Robinson/El-Gabalawy/Hitchon/Tisseverasinghe or Jilkine. Check the status of the form and notify the caller.
  • All other incoming calls, determine nature and urgency of the call, handle routine matters, take and relay messages for physicians, triage and prioritize as needed.
  • When Secretary II (Maria Dungca) is away (sick/vacation), phone will be forwarded to Program Secretary, Leanne Schmidt at 204-787-2208. Likewise, when Leanne Schmidt is away her phone will be forwarded to 204-787-1851.


  • Program Secretary II - Rheumatology Maria Dungca receives all incoming mails for the Section of Rheumatology including mails for Pediatric Rheumatology (Sara Harms), distributes mails accordingly. In Maria’s absence, Leanne will handle the mails.
  • Open and date stamp all mails for Drs. Hitchon, Tisseverasinghe and Jilkine, with the exception of “personal” and “confidential” mails.
  • Journals received for Drs. Hitchon, Tisseverasinghe and Jilkine put them on their in-tray inside their offices.
  • Open and date stamp various types of disability and insurance applications (e.g. CPP medical report, disability assessment report, attending physician statement,Functional Abilities Form (FAF), return to work medical questionnaire, supplementary disability form, disability tax credit (DTC) certificate, DTC medical questionnaire,etc.) receives via mail and put on the pile of forms on physician’s offices (latest date rec’d is placed at the bottom of the pile).
  • All lab test results, consult note and consult referral receives through mail are taken to clinic to be scanned into Accuro by the clinic clerks.
  • Receive deliveries for research staff (Irene S, Melissa M, Maria S. and Ann Huggard). Signs delivery slip and phone/email research staff to pick up the delivery.
  • To courier document or package see How to courier a letter or package


  • Rheumatology office fax #: 204-787-2475.
  • Retrieves and go through incoming faxes daily, as necessary.
  • Routes faxes as follows:
    • Clinic related documents received via fax:
      • takes to the clinic for scanning into Accuro.
      • sends back fax cover sheets to the originating clinic to send future faxes to rheumatology clinic fax #: 204-787-4594.
      • Cover sheet is placed near the fax machine.
  • Would there be fewer delays / less work if the fax was just faxed on to the clinic? That way it arrives in the same way a scan or correct fax would have arrived. Received fax could then be confidential wasted. Might want to discuss with clinic how this would work for them.
    • faxes that “this is not a patient in this clinic” with a copy of rheum. consultation note (this happens only when a patient moves to other clinic/MD and rheumatology clinic is not notified):

Disability/Insurance Application

  • Physicians put on the secretary’s desk when a disability/insurance form is filled out; form is ready to be sent out.
  • Photocopy the completed form for insurance company or patient, and fax a copy to clinic (74594)for EMR copy.
  • See uninsured services billing guide for invoice amount, X:\Maria\Rheumatology\Invoice\BILLING_INSURANCE COMPANIES.doc
  • Prepare an invoice, template: X:\Maria\Rheumatology\Invoice\Invoice- Formatted_29Apr2016.doc, See link: X:\Invoice Log_Rheum_11Apr2016.xls for invoice #.
  • Print two copies of invoice, one copy for insurance company or patient (if the patient is responsible for the fee) and one copy to place in MD Practice Solutions’ in-tray for billing purposes.
  • If a form is to be picked up, put it in an envelope and label with the patient’s name and give to one of the clinic clerks (RR163).
Interro-01.gif You edited this from "writes on" to "label" - does that mean you now use labels? Is anything gained by the extra work?
  • Write or label the envelope with patient's name, as necessary.
  • Patients drop off and pick up disability forms at the Rheumatology Clinic (RR163).


  • See Physician Billing
  • Physicians put clinic sheets on secretary’s desk after their clinics. Photocopy the clinic sheet (two copies), one copy for database in-tray (pile at the back of RR149) and one copy for office file (binders on top shelf labeled with doctors’ name). Courier the original clinic sheets to MD Practice Solutions Inc., see Physician Billing Services
  • Pick up “faxed” prescriptions, refills, EDS approval, etc. from the secretary’s in-tray in RR163 and mail out to MD Practice Solutions.
  • Print the infusion sheets (Nurse Infusion and B1 infusion) from Accuro EMR every Monday which covers the preceding week (Mon-Fri). Distribute copies of the infusion sheets to referring rheumatologists to write the billing code. Physicians will return sheets with billing code; send them to MD Practice Solutions.

Cash Payments for Completed Disability Form

Interro-01.gif This process is laid out in Processing Patient Payment but there are many questions there. Among other, how frequently this happens. Could you have a look there and comment there?
  • This happens 4 to 5 times per year.

Outlook Calendar Management

  • Enters on physicians’ calendar schedules such as clinic bookings, meeting, conference call, on-call schedule, tutorial, lecture, pharm reps appointment, core curriculum, research meeting, clinic teaching unit (CTU), grand rounds, resident noon rounds, etc. Attach on the calendar appt. any relevant correspondence for physician’s reference.
  • Set up a reminder for each appointment and make sure physicians’ calendar has the most up-to-date information.
  • Set up calendar as recurrent for regular clinic bookings. There are times clinic clerks book add-on patients, secretary will be asked to add on physician’s calendar, however, there are instances clerks missed to notify the secretary. Check the Accuro regularly to ensure for most up-to-date clinic information.
  • Could we ask the clinic clerks to send it as meeting requests? About the same amount of work for them, but sticks it into calendar immediately as tentative, and all secretary or physician then needs to do is accept.
    • Your suggestions works too, but by phoning the secretary the clerk notifies right away of physician's availabilities.User:Mdungca 14:39, 5 February 2019 (CST)
      • Is the physician's schedule generally in the calendar? If so then a meeting request would show availability, no?
        • Yes, physician's schedule are generally marks on their calendar, and availability shows on the calendar as well.User:Mdungca 14:01, 25 February 2019 (CST)
  • Physician asks secretary to set up a meeting on Outlook calendar. Organize the meeting by sending a doodle scheduling to find a date and time works for all the participants. Sends meeting invite and attach pertinent correspondence to the meeting appt. for physician’s reference.
Interro-01.gif If we are not ready for Outlook booking, then maybe we should write up how to use doodle, since chances are a lot of people don't the tool.
      • Most of the time we schedule meeting thru Outlook. We use doodle when there are external participants.User:Mdungca 14:01, 25 February 2019 (CST)
  • Put into calendar any other appointments requested by the physicians.
  • Mark physicians’ calendar on all away dates e.g. vacation, conference, seminar, retreat, etc. Secretary’s planned absence is advised to put on their calendar as well.


  • Receives dictation tapes from physicians for typing mostly replies to request for additional medical information (e.g. reconsider disapproved disability tax credit application, narrative medical report, out of province care or travel subsidy, work restrictions, or any other request of patient’s medical information, etc.)
  • Composes variety of correspondence requested by patient (e.g. return to work, off work, sick note, escort, air travel, letter stating diagnosis/med. condition, work restriction, jury duty, bus pass, etc.), and other various kinds of letters.
  • Phones patient when letter is signed and ready to pick up/mail or fax.
  • Does this information end up back on Accuro EMR ? Should it? User:Ttenbergen 21:38, 12 March 2019 (CDT)
    • Yes, a copy of the letter or report issued to patient or insurance company is scanned in EMR.
      • Will email Kym to find out more. User:Ttenbergen 20:34, 17 March 2019 (CDT)

Rheumatology Call Schedule (DOCSS)

  • Checks the Google doc master call for attending’s monthly schedule at ( Prepares a draft rheumatology monthly call schedule.
  • Email the draft schedule to Melissa Blonjeaux(Program Administrator - Rheumatology) who will send to a resident in charge of completing day and night calls. Melissa sends out the final call schedule.
  • Prepares a DOCSS scheduling sheet - template: X:\Maria\Rheumatology\DOCSS Call Scheduling\Guide - DOCSS\Scheduling Sheet - template - Feb 2018.doc
  • Enters the rheumatology monthly calls schedule into the DOCS scheduling system by providing a billing code, dates of calls and no. of calls, per attending, etc.
  • After successfully completing the schedule a fax back report is printed. Carefully examine the schedule for any incorrect entries, if no mistakes are found the process is done.
  • Post the report at the bulletin board located at the secretary’s workstation for reference.
  • Receives monthly call fax report at the beginning of each month from [1], check if entries are correct then file report on the DOCSS binder (light blue).
  • New GFTs should be added to the DOCSS system before call. Send an email to when adding a new doctor to rheumatology. Provides the following information: First three digits of Rheumatology access code, Program name, Position name, Doctors code (4-digit billing code), MD’s name and contact number (pager/cell #).
Rheum. Consults
  • When physicians come off call, they usually have consult forms (yellow sheets) given to secretary which must be logged in on the section journal (blue, copied and filed in flexi folders on top of filing cabinets. The original yellow sheet goes to Physician Billing Services.
  • There are also some small index cards that have been addresso-graphed. These also go to Physician Billing Services for billing.

Rotating Resident mid-term assessment and end of rotation meetings

Interro-01.gif Is this based on Dr. Annaliese Tisseverasinghe's role as something? I have put a question on her page re. committee membership. If based on role then once that is updated we should change it to a resolveRole call here so it self-updates. Do you know the answer to the questions on Dr. Annaliese Tisseverasinghe?
  • Coordinate between rheumatology rotating residents and Dr. A. Tisseverasinghe/Dr. Jilkine to work out on date and time works for them to schedule mid-assessment and end of rotation meeting (in-person or phone conversation).
  • Mid-assessment and end of rotation meeting occurs every 2nd and 4th week of each rotation period.
  • A week before the meeting, secretary sends an email to the physicians asking for their feedback on residents’ rotation. Email is being sent only to physicians the residents had clinic with – check clinic schedule for this.
  • Enter into Dr. Tisseverasingghe / Dr. Jilkine's calendar and set up a reminder.
  • Sends meeting reminders via email to Dr. Tisseverasinghe / Dr. Jilkine and residents.

Common CVs

  • Updates and maintains physicians’ common CV and paper CV (word doc).
  • Once a month secretary checks the PubMed to see if there are new publication(s) of Dr. Hitchon, Tisseverasinghe and Jilkine.
  • Copy and paste new publications from Pubmed into the Canadian Common CV, and update paper CV.
  • Checks physician academic activities from the teaching tracking record and update Common CV.
  • Copy and paste conference publications from the meeting websites (CRA meeting, EULAR meeting and ACR meeting) into Common CV.
  • Updates CV on Google docs of two physicians (e.g. research, scholarly activities, and academic teaching activities, awarded grants, etc.).

Rheumatology Patient Partner Sessions

  • Rotating Residents/Medical Student Patient Partner Session(s)
  • Send an email to Patient Partner (PP) Coordinator: Corrie Billedeau ( to set up a meeting between a patient partner and each new incoming resident and medical student rotating in rheumatology clinic.
  • Checks the PP list in excel file (\\Hsc1msfp0001\med_rheum_letters\Maria\Rheumatology\Patient Partner\PP List.xls) to make sure resident and med. student had not attended a session yet.
  • Send an email to Corrie B. inquiring who would be available to do the patient partner session.
  • Set up a date and time that works for PP and resident/med student.
  • Checks with clinic clerks (Crystal/Liubov) if there’s an available exam room in clinic to use for the session.
  • Finalize the date and time with the PP and send an email to the rotating resident/med student with attach information regarding the PP session, ask the resident to confirm attendance.
  • Sends a reminder email to PP and resident/med student before the session.
  • Update and print the 2018-19 PP sessions in word doc \\Hsc1msfp0001\med_rheum_letters\Maria\Rheumatology\Patient Partner\2018-2019 Resident Schedule.doc showing the session’s date and time as well as the resident’s name and PP’s name, post it at the secretary’s bulletin for reference.
  • Update the PP list in excel file after a resident/medical student session has been done for future reference.

Patient Partner Meetings

  • Corrie Billedeau (Patient Partner) notifies PP secretary via e-mail about dates and times (usually 9am-1pm) of future PP meetings.
  • There are usually 8-10 participants at the meeting.
  • Secretary to book the RR112 boardroom, if not available, another option would be the RS205 (2nd Floor, Rehab-Resp. Bldg.).
  • Sends the schedule of PP meetings to Leanne to book on Dr. Robinson’s calendar.
  • Secretary then creates and submits catering orders thru HSC Catering website. For Patient Partners catering use account X328 for transfer on the HSC Catering website.
  • Receives reply from HSC-Catering Thyme stating confirmation of orders.
  • Give a copy of catering confirmation to PSM - Rheumatology with an explanation of what the catering is for.
  • Make sure food is enough for 8-10 people.
  • A day before the meeting remind HSC Catering about the order and ensure food is delivered on time (usually at 11:45am)

Patient Partner Mileage Claims

  • Receives a list of mileages consumed by PP in attending meetings and PP sessions.
  • Prepare a cheque requisition form and obtain signatures PSM - Rheumatology and Dr. David Robinson).
  • Photocopy the signed form and receipts for file of PSM - Rheumatology and keep a scanned copy on the file share (X) for future reference.
  • Submit the originals to WRHA Finance Division, 791 Notre Dame Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3E 0M1.

Notice of Absence

  • I have moved the details to Physician absence notification so we can, as much as possible, standardize this. Would you mind putting what you use in your template on there as well (the content I mean, not upload the file...)? And who you actually send it to? Please keep on this page exceptions to that Physician absence notification destination list. User:Ttenbergen 22:23, 12 March 2019 (CDT)

Clinic Planned Absence/ Clinic Cancellation in Accuro

  • Physician gives to secretary the dates they’re planning to be away from the center such as vacation, out-of-town meeting/conference, teaching commitments, etc.
  • Prepares a clinic planned absence request or clinic cancelation, whichever is necessary.
  • Obtain physician’s signature then scan into Outlook e-mail.
  • Submit via email to Louise Cameron (cc: clinic clerks), Louise’s email add is on global address.
  • Make sure away dates are blocked off on physician’s calendar.
  • File signed form on the red thin binder.
  • Cancellations of clinic less than 30 days require section head’s approval.

Triplicates Prescription Pads

  • Rheumatology nurse (Tom/Lori) notifies the secretary when doctor’s triplicate pads are almost finished.
  • Send orders for triplicate prescriptions to Manitoba Prescribing Practices Program via email:
  • Indicate physician’s name and CPSM licences no.
  • When triplicate pads are received, label the pads (1 of 1 to 4) so nurses are aware when the last pad is in used and need to place an order soon.


Travel/Business Claim (Concur Travel & Expense)

WRHA Travel

GFT / Dean's Travel Fund

Conference call

  • Is this something that has similar enough components across the section that the process should be kept in Conference call instead?
    • The section's process include using the rheumatology functional code for research conference calls and transfer the bill to research account when bill is received.User:Mdungca 14:39, 5 February 2019 (CST)
      • OK, so the code would be different for different departments but the rest of the process would be pretty similar, right? If so, the details should probably live in the central page. Could you integrate them there?
  • Secretary set up a conference call as needed; rheumatology section has a teleconference functional code. Ask the PSM - Rheumatology or program secretary for the code.
  • Provides leader PIN # to the meeting leader/organizer and a dial in number and conference code to all participants when sending the conference invite.
  • Inform PSM about the date and time of call, if it is for a research study get from the requesting physician the account # to charge the bill. Make sure there is no other call set up at the same time with the same code.

Annual Performance Report

  • Submits annual scholarly activities report of physicians (Drs. Hitchon, Tisseverasinghe and Jilkine).
  • Check the physicians Common CV, PubMed, etc. to get some of the required information.
  • Sends the draft reports done for each physician via email for review/deletion/addition prior to final submission.
  • Submits report to Leanne (she compiles the section report).


Physicians Clinic Information

  • Dr. Hitchon has clinic Tuesday (mornings) and Wednesday (mornings). She has no clinic between Christmas and New Year.
  • Dr. Annaliese has clinic Monday (mornings), Tuesday (mornings), and Wednesday (afternoons). Dr. Annaliese usually cancels her clinic during the weeks she’s on Clinical Teaching Unit (CTU).
  • Dr. Jilkine has clinic Monday (mornings), Tuesday(afternoons), Wednesday (afternoons), and Friday (mornings). Once a month on Thursday afternoon he has tele-health clinic.
  • Each physician has a Fellow’s clinic once a month on a Friday (with the exception of Dr. Hitchon). Melissa Blonjeaux provides the clinic schedule.
  • Clinic clerks usually notifies secretary when there are add on/scramble clinic, check the Accuro from time to time for most up-to-date clinic information.


  • Secretary II provides assistance to physicians with their grant submissions by:
    • Maintaining their paper CV’s and updating their Canadian Common CV (online).
    • Photocopy and hand deliver grant application (Health Sciences Centre Foundation), courier (MMSF). CIHR grants applications are submitted electronically by the physician/researcher directly.
    • Drop off or pick up research documents (i.e. ethics approval, grants, etc.), as instructed.
    • Obtain signatures of co-investigators, Department Head, VP-Dean of Research (ORS), prior to submission.
    • Coordinate with research staff including (Ann Huggard) Research Nurse, (Mellissa Moyen & Maria Sevilla) Research Technicians, and Irene Smolik (PhD) for research meeting (with Dr. Hitchon/Dr. Tisseverasinghe), etc.
    • Convert PDF files to word doc to edit/modify questionnaires of research study patients.
    • Scan ethics approval letter and send via e-mail to Ann H. (Research Nurse).


  • Clinic clerk asks secretary to pull out old private chart of a patient from inactive files.
  • Prepares necessary paperwork for:
  • Receives instruction from physicians to photocopy/mail patient’s laboratory test results (MRI, x-ray, blood work, CT) or consult letters to other physician outside of HSC.
  • Receives phone calls from Medical Records requesting back old HSC chart, locate chart and sends back to Medical Records.
  • Set up meeting between physicians and pharmaceutical reps.
  • Maintains record of daily tasks for future reference.
  • Maintains record of clinic sheets received for future reference.
  • Performs other tasks assigned by physicians from time to time.
  • Collects Confidential waste from physician's offices and manages disposal.
  • Secretary is asked to provide assistance with compiling statistical information for sectional productivity updates requested by the Department of Internal Medicine. Get the required information from physician’s CV and Pubmed and send to Leanne to include on the section’s report and/or annual performance review.
  • Maintains a tracking record of academic hours, e.g. teaching, presentation, major meeting attendance, etc., X:\Maria\CME Hours\Y2018\CME_Dr. Hitchon 2018.doc, X:\Maria\CME Hours\Y2018\CME _ Dr. Tisseverasinghe 2018.doc, file in drive X:\Maria\CME Hours\Y2018\CME_Dr. Jilkine 2018.doc and sends to physicians every 1st week of January. CME hours is required by Royal College of Physicians of Canada (RCPC) for maintenance of CME certification. Submission deadline is January 31st of every year.
  • Provides secretarial coverage to co-worker (Leanne Schmidt) when away.