Delegate Your Healthcare Back Office to a Virtual Medical Assistant
- May 16, 2023
- 9 min read
- By Sabeeha Banu
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Dealing with time-consuming administrative duties frequently causes burnout in healthcare professionals. While occupied with administrative tasks, healthcare professionals look for methods to make the most of their time so they can care for patients.
Hiring a full-time medical assistant is expensive. To this end, virtual medical assistants are a more productive and cost-effective alternative to a full-time medical assistant.
Thankfully, physicians can outsource some of their work to virtual healthcare assistants (VAs) at a reasonable cost.
A virtual medical assistant can help healthcare professionals manage non-clinical parts of healthcare.
What is a Virtual Medical Assistant?
A Virtual Medical Assistant (VMA) remotely performs patient-facing and backend tasks. They handle scheduling, correspondence, and document management. Additionally, they have expertise working in a medical office and are well-versed in the healthcare industry.
A virtual assistant can be a priceless asset to any healthcare practice if they possess the right skills and credentials. Businesses need a reliable virtual medical assistant provider like Office Beacon who can fulfill their clinic and practice needs.
What Does a Virtual Medical Assistant Do?
A medical virtual assistant performs many tasks such as:
The needs of the patients come first for healthcare workers. To this extent, virtual medical assistants oversee scheduling, cancellations, and plans for healthcare practice. Additionally, they educate patients and address any complaints through follow-up. Thus virtual medical assistant acts as the first point of contact for patients and can assist with the following administrative duties:
- New patient referrals and admissions.
- Appointment registrations that include all scheduling activities, cancellations and patient recalls..
- Managing your schedule like patient visits. meetings and events.
- Creating a database subdirectory structure.
- Management of supplies that entails keeping an eye on and assessing the inventory at your workplace and, as required, placing orders for fresh goods.
- Medical billing and classification.
- Check-ins and follow-ups with patients.
- Medication refills.
- Email inbox management.
- Document conversion from paper to digital.
Virtual medical assistants are skilled in data entry for Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Electronic Health Records. (EHR). Using secure video conferencing software, you can have your virtual assistant take notes during meetings, or you can give them specific directions to type the notes up later.
A virtual medical assistant can run your front office like a traditional receptionist, taking calls, transferring critical calls, relaying messages promptly, screening spam calls, and responding to texts, emails, and live chats.
Virtual medical assistants handle all correspondence with the patient's insurance providers. They facilitate submitting claims. They also confirm the patient's status before pre-authorizing any treatments.
A virtual medical assistant can aid healthcare professionals with payroll management, bill payment, and invoice distribution. For healthcare workers to review and forecast cash flow, they also generate financial reports.
Without marketing, healthcare professionals struggle to grow their patient base and practices. A virtual assistant in the healthcare industry can manage your social media pages, keep your website updated and user-friendly, and respond to customer feedback. A VA can set up campaigns to aggressively seek out new patients by focusing on people in your neighborhood.
Benefits of Having a Virtual Assistant for Doctors
A study found that healthcare employees spend 3.17 hours every day, or around half of their workday time, on a desktop, typing progress notes into an electronic health record.
Because of this process, they miss nonverbal cues during examinations. Fortunately, using a virtual medical assistant makes it easy to avoid this situation. Here are six benefits to think about:
1. Enhances Doctor-Patient Relationship
Healthcare professionals can quickly and easily schedule patient follow-ups and personal calls for extra medical advice using a virtual assistant. The medical personnel can concentrate on each patient individually while the virtual assistant handles the supporting tasks.
In crowded waiting areas, patients feel anxious. VAs can help doctors schedule private consultations for patients who require them without requiring them to visit the clinic. That leads to a stronger doctor-patient relationship.
2. Saves Time
Doctors frequently find themselves unable to give each patient their undivided attention. Thus there comes a dire need to hire a virtual medical assistant to get assistance with daily tasks.
Virtual assistants can aid healthcare professionals in making up for lost time in their day. A virtual medical assistant collects patient information by asking standard questions and then sends it for analysis.
They check on the patients and give them medication reminders. Spending too much time on monotonous, repetitive tasks will also negatively affect the core operations of your healthcare team. A virtual assistant can handle such tasks, allowing healthcare professionals to focus on high-priority tasks.
Since the pandemic, the hiring of virtual medical assistants has become rampant as doctors find it hard to finish their daily tasks. Physicians also experienced financial hardship, either directly or indirectly.
Healthcare professionals can hire virtual medical assistants without investing in physical space or office equipment like computers. A VA can save you a lot of money by working remotely. Furthermore, there is no need to cater additional benefits, such as health insurance and a pension, to a virtual assistant.
As a result, you can do your work more quickly and effectively without spending more money. There are days when your clinic is quiet and times when it is overloaded with patients.
In such situations, you don't need to hire a full-time employee and pay them a set salary and benefits regardless of the workload.
Virtual assistants receive compensation based on the project and the number of hours. So, depending on their requirements, healthcare professionals can work with a virtual assistant. By hiring virtual assistants, you can do away with fixed costs.
4. Increases Productivity
If you are a medical professional, you can not undermine the value of constant upskilling. A skilled virtual medical assistant allows you the flexibility to focus on your growth. Your virtual assistant can make time-saving and productivity-boosting recommendations you might not have been aware of.
You can seek a virtual assistant’s help managing your email and updating your spreadsheets, among other things. Thus, you become more effective when you complete tasks like entering data, accepting calls, and communicating with vendors, patients, and payroll.
5. Access to Skilled Staff
Virtual medical assistants are skilled and independent contractors. They ensure assigned tasks are on time and reflect how you want them. As virtual medical assistants are paid per hour and only after work is complete, your VA is motivated to complete work precisely and on schedule.
Lack of accountability is a common issue among full-time employees wherein responsibility is passed from one person to the next. With your virtual assistant, this will seldom happen. Because they are keenly aware of how much their livelihood depends on the caliber of their work, VAs take greater responsibility for it.
Additionally, they will consistently look for constructive criticism to grow.
Virtual medical assistants are skilled in many other areas, such as email management, account administration, bill paying, etc.
You can set your virtual assistant's schedules to suit your needs.
Six Easy Steps for Hiring a Virtual Medical Assistant
Here are the six easy steps for hiring a virtual medical assistant:
1. Document the Tasks
Making a list of the tasks you want to assign to your virtual assistant is the first step in hiring one. Record the specific goals you want your virtual assistant to achieve as well. For this, create a company guide that outlines your business objectives, vision, mission, and work ethic.
2. Create a JD
A detailed job description gives your virtual assistant a clear understanding of what you want from them. The typical components of this job description are:
- An overview of your company's history
- Requisite level of expertise and education
- Obligations and responsibilities list
- Weekly hours worked and their hourly rates
- List of the software and/or applications you intend to use
3. Post your JD
Once you've completed outlining your job description, the following step is to post it online and start reviewing applications. You can submit your job description through many channels, such as job portals, freelance marketplaces, and virtual assistant agencies. Else you can opt for a reliable outsourcing partner, Office Beacon, to get access to the skilled virtual medical assistant at reasonable prices.
4. Schedule Interviews
Following the posting of the job description and evaluation of the applications, you can schedule interviews with the top 5 to 10 candidates. Ask about their goals, values, strengths, and time management style apart from their job history and skill set to get a general sense of who they are and whether you would get along with them.
5. Assign a Test Job
To narrow down your search and hire the ideal virtual assistant, assign a test assignment. The test job should include the tasks you wish your virtual assistant to fulfill once you onboard them.
The roles and responsibilities of those in the healthcare sector are evolving alongside the industry. Medical virtual assistants are becoming more and more valuable to businesses and individual practitioners. If you are looking for skilled virtual medical assistants for support, Office Beacon can help.
Request a consultation now!