Do you enjoy working with patients in your medical clinic but dread the inevitable administrative workload that comes with it? These menial tasks plague nearly every medical practitioner who runs their own practice. If you could spend all the time you waste in the office helping more clients, your days would feel more manageable and satisfying.
That’s what medical office assistants are for. Medical office assistants can remove the administrative workload from your shoulders and let you focus on treating patients instead. Keep reading to learn how a medical office assistant can help and why a virtual medical office assistant is the way to go.
What is the role of a medical office assistant?
A medical office assistant works to support medical professionals in their practice. Whether they work at a private clinic, hospital, or other types of medical facilities in the healthcare industry, their primary role is to remove the stress of the administrative load from medical professionals.
Medical assistants handle all sorts of administrative tasks that get thrown their way. For instance, they can help with patient charting. But they can also greet patients at the reception area.
When receptionists get too busy, medical office assistants can answer the phone for them. Physicians and nurses can provide them with rough notes to transcribe into their digital system after appointments.
Think of a medical office assistant as someone available to patch any leaks for other team members in a medical office. When someone has an overflow of work, this type of assistant can swoop in to support them.
Other tasks that a medical assistant can handle include:
- Calling patients for appointment reminders
- Scheduling appointments in person, by email, or by phone
- Managing the clinic calendar to avoid any scheduling conflicts
- Keeping files organized
- Helping patients fill out insurance forms
- Reording necessary supplies
- And even more
Need your own medical office assistant but want to keep costs low? Get in touch with our team, and we’ll help you find the ideal virtual medical office assistant for your situation.
Is a medical office assistant the same as a receptionist?
A medical office assistant won’t always have the same responsibilities as a receptionist.
Clinical receptionists will stay at the reception for most of the workday. That’s because their main responsibility is to manage the intake of patients and represent the face of the clinic.
On the other hand, medical office assistants can work in the back office instead of spending most of their time in the front office.
But a medical front office assistant will often handle both roles and manage other office tasks while sitting in the front office. This is especially true for smaller clinics. A clinic with a smaller team may have fewer patients to manage, which means one person can simultaneously hold both roles.
Benefits of hiring a medical office assistant
Medical office assistants are useful people to have on staff. Here’s how a medical office assistant can help both you and your patients.
1. Support your patients more efficiently
What happens when you or your nursing staff get overwhelmed with administrative work? Patients get longer waiting times or get a version of you that isn’t as well-rested as you could be.
You can get rid of these overbearing office tasks when you have an assistant to take those on instead of you. Instead of scrambling to finish everything on your own, you can reinvest that time into caring for your patients.
You’ll have less drain on your mental capacities since it’s someone else’s responsibility to manage this type of work. As a result, you can show up entirely focused on your patients instead of thinking about paperwork in the back of your mind.
Not only will work feel more pleasant for you, but your patients will be happier, too. You can increase your retention rate and get patients who are happy to refer your services to their friends and family.
2. Go home by 5 p.m.
If your days tend to run longer than they should while you finish paperwork after your appointments, you’re not alone. Running a medical office involves so much more than just seeing patients. A medical office assistant will come in handy if that’s your situation.
You can enjoy shorter work days while your assistant handles charting and updating patient files for you. When someone is fully dedicated to these tasks, you no longer have to catch up on office work after you’re done seeing patients for the day.
Instead, you’ll be free to go home and get proper rest. With nothing else to worry about, you can fully recover and come back ready to tackle the next day refreshed.
3. Make your medical practice more efficient
Running a medical office or clinic seems simple on the surface, but there are so many intricate moving pieces that need to be managed in a medical office environment. While you and your team can tackle tasks as they come, you’ll be much more efficient when you have a process in place.
But you need enough resources to create and implement a process like this in the first place. Having a medical office assistant frees up some of these resources. You can implement new standard operating procedures that everyone in your practice can follow — and your medical office assistant can help keep everyone on track.
Plus, when you hire a medical office assistant who has the right skills, they can bring in the expertise required to develop this efficiency.
4. Focus on what you do best and leave the rest
You didn’t work through medical school to spend your time on administrative duties. While many people can perform these types of tasks, not everyone’s time is best spent on them.
Everyone is more effective at some tasks than others, and you’re more effective at helping patients with their health. On the other hand, medical office assistants are trained in office administration and assistance.
Forget office work and hand it over to someone who can likely do it better than you can. You can focus the majority of your day on your zone of genius — helping your patients. Medical office assistants who have the proper training know how to get tasks done quickly, efficiently, and at a high level of quality.
The drawbacks of hiring an in-person medical office assistant
While medical office assistants can be extremely helpful for healthcare professionals, they do have several drawbacks.
First, they require overhead when you hire them. For instance, they take up office space and need furnishings, such as:
- A desk
- A desktop computer
- Additional equipment depending on their tasks
And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
You’ll also have to compete with other medical offices for talented candidates in your area. It can be difficult to find skilled office assistants, but even more so in the medical field. And if your competitors have a bigger budget, they can offer more attractive salaries and benefits to the best candidates.
Medical office assistants are also expensive to hire. Administrative assistants make $19.08 per hour in the US on average. So you can expect to pay around this amount for someone who works directly in your office.
This wage doesn’t account for the other expenses of hiring and in-person assistant. For example, you’ll need to provide vacation time and sick leave and contribute to disability insurance and taxes. If you want to attract high-quality candidates, you'll also need to provide benefits and health insurance.
How a virtual medical office assistant can help your clinic thrive
You can get all of the benefits of a medical office assistant with a remote worker instead. Here’s how a virtual assistant can help your clinic thrive by taking on the role of a medical office assistant.
1. Hire a medical office assistant at a lower cost
Virtual medical office assistants who work remotely don’t cost as much to hire as in-person employees. With HelloRache, medical office assistants cost only $9.50 per hour.
But you don’t just save on the hourly wage. Remote assistants don’t require any overhead or office space. Because they’re fully managed by our team, you also don’t need to worry about paid time off or benefits. Our team handles that side of things while you focus on doing what you love.
All you need to spend money on when you onboard a virtual assistant is the hourly wage and a tablet to speak to your assistant. If your virtual assistant helps out in the reception area, you’ll also need a point-of-sale system — but that’s something you’d need regardless.
2. Grow your medical practice
Because a virtual medical office assistant is less expensive to hire, you can grow your medical practice and generate more profit. You can take on more patients with the time you save — or you can invest the overflow into improvements for your clinic. Improvements may help you retain more patients or run everything more smoothly.
Additionally, you can use your savings to onboard additional physicians and nurses to your team.
As your team grows, you can bring on more virtual medical assistants to adapt to the additional workload. And the cycle continues.
3. Hire from a rich pool of talented candidates
No need to fight for local talent with your competitors when you’re hiring a medical office assistant to work remotely. Instead, you can find highly talented and professional candidates from the Philippines.
Virtual medical office assistants who live in the Philippines aren’t just administrative professionals. They’re also medical professionals, such as registered nurses. But because average wages for nurses are low in the Philippines, many registered nurses are attracted to remote work opportunities with healthcare professionals overseas.
Not only are they well-versed in administration, but they already know the medical profession and have on-the-job experience. They can have more productive conversations with your patients without requiring the input of you or your staff.
4. Onboard assistants faster
Virtual assistants from Hello Rache are already trained to use any electronic health records system. They’re also certified in HIPAA compliance.
Because they already have this training, you can onboard your medical office assistant much faster than when you hire a local employee. Although they may need some time to get accustomed to your clinic, they already have the necessary skills to become productive and profitable quickly.
Plus, you can receive candidates to interview in just a day or two. There’s no need to spend weeks posting job listings, combing through applications, and interviewing several candidates.
You’ll also find it easy to ramp up or down depending on your needs. If you need a medical assistant immediately, you can get support in a few days. And if you no longer need help within a month or two, there’s no need to retain them for longer than necessary.
5. Unintrusive live charting with your patients
Focus on caring for your patients while someone else performs charting for you. You won’t get distracted while you try to focus on taking notes and your patients keep speaking.
Bring your assistant in the room with you on a tablet and let them handle live charting for you.
Live charting with a virtual office assistant is much less intrusive for your patient than having someone perform charting in person. It’s also less distracting for patients.
When your appointment is complete, there’s no more work required on your part — you can move to the next patient right away or take a well-deserved breather. Because the medical charts are already done, you don’t need to try to retain information between appointments.
Your virtual assistant can update patient files and medical records once appointments are done for the day. Because the charting is already done, there’s no need for them to spend extra time transcribing your notes.
Hire the ideal virtual medical office assistant for your practice
While medical office assistants are invaluable additions to any medical practice, they’re expensive and can be difficult to find.
On the other hand, virtual medical office assistants are just as helpful, and they don’t come with the same overhead and strings attached. Get in touch with our team today, and we’ll help you onboard the ideal virtual medical office assistant for you.