Virtual medical assistants are a more productive and cost-effective alternative to a full-time medical assistant and are responsible for the non-clinical parts of running a practice. They do all the work remotely and are specialized in the field to carry out a range of front and back-office tasks.
Virtual medical assistants oversee the day-to-day activities of the clinic while you focus on providing the best possible care to your patients. They enhance operational productivity and organizational efficiency while creating a smoother workflow for the physicians.
If you are unsure about onboarding a virtual assistant, read below to see what tasks they perform and the benefits they offer.
While you devote all your time to making the patients feel heard, medical virtual assistants, take care of making sure those patients can reach you. They manage your office’s calendar, booking, and cancellation of appointments, whilst sending reminders to the patients and following up for any complaints after. The calendar management may also include any meetings or commitments you may have, ensuring you are up to date.
Given a doctor’s hectic work schedule, virtual medical staff can handle the office’s email accounts or be a virtual receptionist for you, managing the phone calls and patient queries about services provided and more. As they are the first line of contact for the patients, you need not be disturbed for tasks that do not require your immediate attention, these include the following.
- Prescription refills
- Intaking new patients
- Required documentation and transcripts
Virtual medical assistants are perfect for these tasks because you can hire more than one, in different time zones, allowing your practice to be accessible at all times. By delegating these responsibilities, you can catch up on the sleep, which private practicing doctors do not get regularly while enhancing the quality of service provided.
The administrative work can also extend to responsibilities such as the management of office supplies. Even though these medical virtual assistants may never step foot into the office, they oversee any orders placed or inventory received, following up with the vendors to keep your business running smoothly.
Upkeep of electronic medical records
Hiring a medical virtual assistant helps you cut costs for your healthcare practice. When more people enter the system, the staff can organize new files into the database for easier access in the future. This may also include converting preexisting physical files, usually physician’s notes, into digital ones and updating any new information the doctor might receive from the patient.
This could be done through prerecorded dictation by the doctor, or the medical virtual assistant joins the physician-patient encounters through video calling. If the latter option is chosen, it helps to employ an assistant in the same time zone.
If you require a virtual medical assistant for the management of electronic health records, it may be wise to hire someone who has considerable experience as a scribe, someone who is well versed in transcribing voicemail messages and audio recordings, and mentioning HIPAA compliance in the contract as the employee will have access to sensitive patient information.
As this information will be electronically organized, you would not have to waste time looking for crucial information that was given to you multiple sessions ago and would help you attain a quicker diagnosis.
As a physician, dealing with the details after the patient leaves the clinic is a tedious job but a necessary one because you need someone to bill them accurately. That position can be filled by your virtual medical assistant.
They would become responsible for updating the suitable medical codes and generating related invoices to bill the patients for the services provided. They are also trained to address any payment queries the patients may have.
Virtual medical staff also communicate with the insurance companies. Besides verifying the insurance eligibility of the transactions before the patient meets the physician, the process and forward all claims to the company after. As professionals, good virtual assistants support the patients with the extensive paperwork required and be present for all their queries.
As a significant number of finances enter and leave the company, the employee may also bookkeep for the practice – managing the payroll, keeping a thorough record of all invoices, bills, and receipts, and preparing financial sheets for evaluation.
Virtual medical assistants are tech-savvy and help you expand your business. When hiring for promotion of the business, the staff employed needs to be one with experience in graphic designing, coding, and other such fields.
These particular skills are useful for digital marketing on social media or crafting a new website to be the face of your private practice. This would expand the reach of your practice and introduce it to new people, thereby driving up business.
As new patients enter, you have the time to treat them because you no longer need to spend time doing administrative tasks that could be done by your medical virtual assistant.
As mentioned above, virtual medical assistants take over a lot of tasks from you, allowing you to foster better relationships with your patients. You can also see more patients daily and craft a more flexible schedule for yourself.
Moreover, having an assistant in charge of scheduling and other administrative tasks creates a more reliable portal for the patient queries, thereby also improving patient-physician communication.
As patient satisfaction rises, it will help attract more care seekers enabling you to grow your practice and offer services to an increased number of patients. Moreover, virtual medical staff is paid by the hour, which increases accountability and cuts down the cost of hiring a full-time employee.