Virtual Medical AssistantOrganize your healthcare facility with a Virtual Medical Assistant.
What is a Virtual Medical Assistant?
Healthcare is a complex and necessary industry worldwide. While patients may sometimes feel that a visit to the doctor, dentist, or any other clinic is simple and straightforward, it actually is anything but. For all healthcare professionals, even a single simple visit already represents a long checklist to follow.
A Virtual Medical Assistant (VMA) can help ease the load off your medical business by taking care of various administrative duties like insurance verification, prior authorization, patient follow-up, data entry, and many more. Basically, a VMA is a virtual medical administrative assistant. They can do the duties of a traditional medical office secretary but at a fraction of the cost. Hiring a virtual medical assistant means that you don’t need to spend on an office setup, employee insurance, and other overhead costs.
Another reason to hire an online medical assistant over a physical employee is that with a virtual health assistant, you can access a wider talent pool. This doesn’t just mean hiring from anywhere in the world, it also means being able to pick the level of expertise you want in a VMA. From basic administrative assistants to trained nurses who have hospital experience, hiring a VMA gives you many more options than hiring an on-site assistant.
What Kinds of Tasks can a Virtual Medical Assistant Do for Me?
Insurance verification and authorization
Virtual medical assistants can take care of checking insurance databases or calling insurance companies to verify patients’ policies. They can also do pre-authorizations for procedures, helping both you and your patient have a seamless experience.
Patient data entry and database management
Given the meticulous documentation required for electronic patient records, keeping patient databases up to date can take a lot of time and effort. VMAs can handle wrangling all your patient data, freeing up your time.
For cases where patients just need refills without changes in dosage, virtual medical assistants can handle filling out requests and calling in prescription refills. They also handle noting down these refills in patient charts.
Virtual medical assistants can keep your practice’s appointments in order. They can make sure the clinic hours listed for you are up to date, and that there are no conflicts or overlaps in seeing patients. In case of sudden schedule changes, your VMA can also handle contacting the appointments you will miss or be late for, and take care of rescheduling when necessary.
Patients don’t always remember to come back for their next appointment, or even fill in their prescriptions. A virtual medical assistant can keep track of these and contact patients so that you can provide your patients with a full, proper treatment plan.
Taking time at the end of calls or consults to transcribe notes, phone calls, or voice notes takes a lot of time better spent on higher-level tasks. A VMA can take over doing these kinds of menial tasks for you. Their familiarity and personal involvement with your medical practice can translate to higher transcription accuracy and better-organized notes because their transcription impacts their other duties as well.
Taking phone calls
A virtual medical assistant can answer phone calls to your practice and deal with basic inquiries. This way, your customers don’t get frustrated by unanswered phone calls, but you also don’t get interrupted in the middle of appointments.
These days, many people opt to send emails for non-urgent requests, instead of picking up their phones to call. A virtual health assistant can also take care of organizing your inbox, answering simple requests, and setting aside the more complicated questions for you to answer.
A medical practice always needs to be stocked up on equipment like gauze, bandages, syringes, and the like. With the aid of a digital inventory management system, a virtual medical assistant can keep track of your supplies and handle ordering replacements when stocks run low.
What Skills and Qualifications Does a Virtual Medical Assistant Need to Have?
Virtual medical assistants are privy to a lot of confidential patient information, and often have access to many of your clinic’s private accounts. Because of this, trustworthiness and integrity are absolute must-haves for any VMA.
- Excellent communication skills
Since answering calls, emails and other messages are part of the duties of a VMA, they have to be able to communicate effectively with patients. On top of that, they also need to be able to communicate well with your office.
Medical patients are often under a lot of stress. In order to keep them happy, your VMA needs to be able to read the air and come across as understanding to your patients.
- Ability to multitask
Virtual medical assistants need to handle multiple aspects of your practice all at once. It is thus important that they are not too single-minded, and are capable of switching tasks at a moment’s notice.
Your VMA needs to be able to access different data points quickly and track their tasks and processes to maximize efficiency. Keeping organized both in their personal tasks and in documenting different processes for your clinic can greatly aid these.
- HIPAA Training
HIPAA compliance is an important aspect of any medical practice, and VMAs need to be familiar with the rules and regulations of the HIPAA in order to keep your clinic compliant.
How Can I Hire a Virtual Medical Assistant?
Hiring a virtual medical assistant can be extremely rewarding and cost-effective, but the very same benefits it gives you can also be a source of stress or difficulty. A bigger talent pool means a wider search, and transitioning to digital from physical means finding new ways to communicate with and monitor your new employee. This is where hiring a company like 20four7VA will help.
20four7VA can wade through the global pool of applicants for you, so that you only need to interview the best and most qualified applicants that suit your needs. They can also help you train, onboard, and monitor your VA, so that you have a seamless employer experience throughout the entire process.
You can start your search for a virtual medical assistant by booking a free, no-obligation pre consultation call with 20four7VA now.