Last Updated on September 13, 2023
A virtual medical assistant can help your practice in many ways. They can save you time and money, keep your office organized, and help you stay connected with patients. Here are some of the ways a remote medical assistant can make your life easier:
What is a virtual medical assistant?
A virtual medical assistant (VMA) is a remote employee who works from home, helping you to run your business.
Virtual medical assistants can be hired on an hourly or contract basis and are often used to fill in for full-time employees on leave, dealing with an illness, or otherwise unavailable.
The services provided by VMs include:
- Data entry
- Administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, answering phones, and email inquiries, filing paperwork, and other administrative duties keep a practice running smoothly.
What are two types of medical assistants?
There are two main types of medical assistants: clinical medical assistants and administrative medical assistants.
Both types of medical assistants play a crucial role in the healthcare system.
In contrast, clinical medical assistants are more hands-on with patients, and administrative medical assistants are more behind the scenes but are also crucial in ensuring that the medical office runs smoothly and efficiently.
1. Clinical medical assistants:
These medical assistants work directly with patients and perform tasks such as taking vital signs, preparing patients for exams, administering medications, drawing blood, and performing basic laboratory tests.
They also assist physicians and other healthcare professionals during exams and procedures.
Also, they must know basic medical techniques and be able to serve them with precision and accuracy.
2. Administrative medical assistants:
These medical assistants handle the administrative tasks of a medical office or clinic.
They may be responsible for scheduling appointments, billing, coding, maintaining patient records, and answering phones.
Plus, they may also be responsible for ordering supplies, managing the front desk, and other office-related tasks.
Also, they should know medical terminology and be proficient in computer applications and programs.
Virtual medical assistants can save you money
While hiring a full-time staff member or outsourcing your administrative tasks may be tempting, this can be expensive.
A virtual assistant can help you reduce the cost of hiring full-time staff by handling various administrative jobs part-time.
For example, if you have an office manager who works 40 hours per week and makes $50 an hour, that adds up to $2,000 per month in salary alone (not including benefits).
If you hire an assistant for 20 hours per week at $25 per hour instead – and she does all the same things as your full-time employee – she’ll save you about $1,300 each month!
Now imagine if one day she gets sick or goes on vacation. Or what happens when she has children?
Suddenly she needs maternity leave, and there goes another chunk out of your budget because there’s no one around who knows how things work here!
Virtual medical assistants can help your practice stay organized & efficient
As a medical assistant, you are undoubtedly familiar with the day-to-day tasks that keep your practice running smoothly.
But what about those projects that don’t fall into your job description?
Virtual assistants can help with organizing patient records and scheduling appointments, answering phones, managing billing and insurance claims – even following up on new patients after they’ve left their first visit.
They’re also great at keeping up with the latest technology so that your office can stay up-to-date on software or hardware upgrades without having to hire additional staff members
A virtual medical assistant can help you stay in touch with patients online
Virtual assistants can be available almost 24/7, answering your questions anytime or at night.
They also have access to social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, which means they can respond to comments or questions from patients on the fly.
Suppose a patient has a question about their appointment date or location.
In that case, a virtual assistant can get back to them quickly – and if there’s an emergency that requires immediate attention (like someone calling 911), this is even more important!
In addition to handling basic customer services tasks like responding via text message or email, some virtual assistants will schedule appointments for you and follow up with past clients who haven’t seen you yet but may need medical care soon (for example, postpartum women).
This way, there will always be someone available 24/7 who knows exactly what needs to be done next and where all those files are kept!
A medical practice can do a lot of benefit from having an assistant that can help with administrative tasks and patient engagement
You need to get these things done but don’t have time for them.
Examples include updating your website or Facebook page, responding to emails from patients, scheduling appointments, receiving payments from insurers (medical billing), organizing files/paperwork, and other office management duties.
This is about communicating with your patients on their terms rather than just expecting them to come into your office when it’s convenient for you or handing out pamphlets at events like fairs or festivals where there may be thousands of people looking at things besides those pamphlets (which they probably won’t read anyway).
The bottom line medical assistant and why a practice needs one
It’s important to note that while a virtual assistant can be a great way to save time and money and stay organized, it is no replacement for having an actual medical assistant on staff.
That being said, if you are looking at ways of increasing efficiency or reducing costs in your practice, it might be worth considering hiring one.