In the fast-paced world of medical practices, efficiency and productivity play a pivotal role in delivering high-quality patient care. To maintain a competitive edge, leaders in medical practices must consistently seek ways to streamline operations, improve patient satisfaction, and increase their profitability. Integrating virtual medical assistants into a practice’s in-person staff has recently become a popular solution that empower healthcare providers and staff members to optimize their time and resources.
What Are Virtual Medical Assistants?
Virtual medical assistants are highly skilled professionals with specialized knowledge of medical terminology, practice management, and healthcare regulations. They render top-notch support to healthcare practitioners without needing to be in the practice’s physical location.
These remote professionals have a profound understanding of medical office procedures, including appointment scheduling, medical record management, billing and coding processes, and insurance verification. In addition, their excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, give them an edge in effectively engaging with patients, healthcare professionals, and other essential stakeholders.
Not only do virtual medical assistants promote the productivity of doctors and other healthcare workers, but they can also help make the practice more profitable. They do so by:
Streamlining Administrative Tasks
Based on research from The Journal of General Internal Medicine, primary care physicians need an average of 26.7 hours every day to work on administrative tasks while delivering patient care . Moreover, 70% of medical practices have experienced a surge in these responsibilities in the last year, as per a survey by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).
As administrative tasks become increasingly demanding, virtual medical assistants provide a much-needed solution to prevent healthcare providers from experiencing burnout. By taking care of time-consuming administrative work, healthcare providers can focus on clinical care responsibilities that ultimately improve their quality of care.
Enhancing Patient Experience
Apart from administrative tasks, virtual medical assistants also promote a better patient experience. With the ability to facilitate remote patient monitoring and arrange virtual appointments, they play an integral role in promoting the use of telehealth. Data supports the positive impact of telehealth , making virtual medical assistants an asset to any healthcare team striving to deliver better patient care.
These remote professionals do more than simply support telehealth use – they can send medication reminders and post-visit follow-ups, creating a more patient-centric and engaging healthcare experience. As a result, patients enjoy improved satisfaction, leading to increased loyalty and referrals. Ultimately, these drive the practice’s growth and profitability further.
Optimizing Practice Workflow & Efficiency
Efficiency is crucial in healthcare to ensure high-quality patient care. However, diverse patient needs, overlapping job roles, and numerous responsibilities can quickly make practices disorganized. This inefficiency can lead to disorderly operations, inaccurate recording of patient information, delays in turnaround times, and provider burnout – none of which are doing the practice any favors.
Leveraging the skills and expertise of virtual medical assistants can alleviate these challenges because they are highly adaptable and possess exceptional organizational skills. They can effectively handle their designated duties while being flexible enough to attend to urgent supplementary tasks. As a result, the workflow is optimized, allowing every team member to perform at their best in increasing productivity and promoting patient satisfaction.
Maximizing Revenue Cycle Management
To increase a practice’s profitability, practice leaders must maintain healthy financial resources. One effective approach to achieve this is by integrating virtual medical assistants as they can maximize revenue cycle management or RCM. Their attention to detail and ability to work at a fast pace can significantly decrease the likelihood of claim denials and improve the speed at which claims are processed.
In addition, virtual medical assistants help reduce coding errors, ensure accurate billing, and expedite the reimbursement process. With these remote talents on their team, practice leaders gain access to individuals who possess extensive knowledge of medical coding and billing regulations. This makes virtual medical assistants an invaluable asset in optimizing a practice’s RCM, resulting in increased profitability.
Virtual medical assistants can revolutionize the way medical practices operate, boosting profits and enhancing practice management. By streamlining mundane administrative tasks, enhancing the patient experience, optimizing workflow, and improving revenue cycle management, virtual medical assistants allow healthcare professionals to prioritize quality patient care while achieving financial success.
What To Look For In A Virtual Medical Assistant
While virtual medical assistants are great assets to any healthcare team, not all are created equal. For leaders looking into integrating them into their practice, here are some key considerations worth making:
Experience & Qualifications
To find the ideal virtual medical assistant, leaders must look into a candidate’s experience and qualifications, as these can determine how well they can handle the demands of the practice and its patients. A solid background in healthcare administration and knowledge of medical terminology and practice management are often indicators of a qualified candidate. Practice leaders must also assess a candidate’s technological competence, familiarity with billing and coding practices, and EHR proficiency because the role involves extensive hardware and software use.
Communication & Interpersonal Skills
Clear and empathetic communication is paramount in the healthcare industry, especially with virtual medical assistants. Candidates must possess exceptional interpersonal skills to effectively interact with patients, healthcare providers, and other team members. To ensure the best candidates are chosen, practice leaders should evaluate their written and verbal skills, ensuring they can communicate professionally and empathetically.
References & Credibility
Practice leaders must ask candidates for references from their previous employers or clients. This approach provides invaluable firsthand insights regarding the candidate’s work ethic, reliability, and professionalism. When contacting references, leaders must inquire about the candidate’s ability to meet project deadlines, work smoothly and effectively with a team, and handle confidential information discreetly. These details can ensure the most suitable virtual medical assistant based on the practice’s particular needs and preferences.
Commitment to Compliance
Navigating work regulations is essential in any professional setting, even in the virtual workspace. Due to the remote nature of virtual medical assistants, it can be challenging for practice leaders to monitor their adherence to established guidelines. For this reason, they must seek out candidates who are committed to upholding both practice and federal regulations, particularly HIPAA.
Alternatively, practice leaders can partner with an established company like My Mountain Mover to find their ideal virtual medical assistant. We employ a rigorous applicant screening process to ensure our clients only get the industry’s top 2% of HIPAA-certified virtual talent. In addition, we also have dedicated account management, accounting and payroll, and HIPAA-compliance teams that foster a positive and streamlined experience for medical practices.
Working with us will ease the burden of recruitment and streamline the process of searching for and onboarding the best virtual medical assistant.
Book a 10-minute discovery call today to learn more.