Medical practices, regardless of specialty, serve many patients, which means they must maximize every job role they employ, including patient care coordinators. This job role directly contributes to improving patient wellness, but practice leaders need to understand the role of patient coordinator better to maximize it.
The first step to better understanding the job is to identify the varying work setup of a patient care coordinator, in-person or virtual. While both types serve the same core purpose of ensuring patients get the care they need, they have some unique differences.
In-person or virtual patient care coordinator?
The name says it all; in-person patient care coordinators collaborate with clinic physicians and other staff members within the practice’s physical location. On the other hand, virtual patient care coordinators do the same, albeit remotely. Because most people consider being in an office the standard work setup, it’s easy for practice managers or decision-makers to think hiring an in-person staff is better than a virtual one. However, a virtual patient care coordinator comes with benefits & advantages.
One of the most significant differences between virtual and in-person patient care coordinators is how much their services cost. On average, an in-person patient care coordinator’s salary in the US falls at $35,869 annually, meaning that practices must pay nearly $3,000 monthly to retain an in-person patient care coordinator in their team.
On top of the basic compensation for in-person patient care coordinators, practices must also allocate a specific budget for their employee benefits, such as their 401(k), PTOs, and health insurance. These add-ons can easily make in-person patient care coordinators all the more costly, especially compared to virtual patient care coordinators, who only cost a fraction.
As far as numbers go, practice leaders get to save as much as 70% by hiring a virtual patient care coordinator because outsourcing is often more economical than in-house recruitment . Even more, employee benefits for virtual patient care coordinators are not required, which means more saving opportunities for practices.
When delivering their payment, practices don’t have to deal with payroll when their patient care coordinator works virtually because remote staff often work with an outsourcing company that handles their payroll. For in-person patient care coordinators, the responsibility of processing their payment is on the practice leaders.
Because most virtual patient care coordinators work with an outsourcing company, they also have a dedicated industry manager who can assist in managing them. As a result, practices can opt to be more passive with their management efforts because industry managers supervise and coach them into becoming a better fit for the practice; the same doesn’t apply to an in-person talent whom practice leaders need to manage actively.
Despite having a dedicated industry manager, virtual patient care coordinators – or any virtual talent – are still intrinsically independent and hardworking because they know they are primarily judged by their work, not by how busy they appear. They are fast learners who constantly find ways to increase the value of what they do because their line of work is highly competitive.
Moreover, virtual patient care coordinators being independent means securing their equipment for work, specifically a good PC or laptop, reliable internet connection, and a HIPAA-compliant workspace. This independence minimizes the need for practice leaders to invest time, money, and effort into acquiring assets for patient care coordinator jobs.
To move a medical practice forward, its leaders should learn to adapt to changes in the healthcare industry. An example of these changes is the widespread implementation of telehealth , an advancement that lets providers meet their patients virtually. This trend ushers in the promising integration of virtual medical assistants into how practices deliver healthcare. By adopting virtual approaches, medical practices remain ahead of the game.
To conclude, integrating a virtual patient care coordinator into a medical team has the potential to significantly improve the efficiency of practices while minimizing financial and labor costs. Also, medical practices prime themselves for the future by adopting virtual workers into their approach to patient care.
Job description of a patient care coordinator
As previously mentioned, practices need a better understanding of the job to maximize it. One way to accomplish this is to identify what a patient care coordinator job description entails.
Whether in-house or virtually, a patient care coordinator helps the practice’s patients navigate the complex healthcare system and coordinates their care. They are the liaison between patients, providers, and other medical entities. Patient care coordinators also ensure that patients understand their diagnosis and treatment options to decide on a better care plan.
To keep the practice on a forward trajectory, practice managers or decision-makers need to hire an effective patient care coordinator because the position is crucial in enhancing patient outcomes, reducing healthcare costs, and improving the overall quality of care.
Qualities of a good patient care coordinator
Apart from knowing the job role’s responsibilities, practice leaders must also acquaint themselves with the makings of a good patient care coordinator. By doing so, practices can identify the requirements and qualities they should look for in a potential candidate.
Knowledge of medical terminologies, healthcare regulations and policies, and clinical procedures are non-negotiables for hard skills because half of the work is very technical. A good patient care coordinator must also be able to proficiently use EHR systems, interpret and document patient information accurately, and possess strong data management and analytical skills to identify patterns and trends in patient care.
Regarding their soft skills, patient care coordinators must be excellent communicators because the other half of their work involves connecting and engaging with patients. They should be critical thinkers who have strong problem-solving abilities to identify and resolve challenges that may come up during the care coordination process. Most importantly, patient care coordinators need to be patient-centered and empathetic to handle varying patient situations with sensitivity and care.
Where to post and find patient care coordinator jobs
Practices have several options available when recruiting the most suitable candidate for a patient care coordinator position. Whether they prefer an in-person or virtual talent, their options include;
Online Job Sites
As the internet is where anything and everything is searchable, practices can leverage online job sites for their recruitment efforts. One of the most popular job posting websites is LinkedIn, a social media platform that connects professionals and businesses. Through LinkedIn, practices can search for candidates and filter them based on job titles, location, preferred work setup, and other related criteria. Additionally, they can post open position listings so that hopeful candidates can send in their applications.
For practices looking to recruit virtual patient care coordinators, Fiverr and UpWork are two great alternatives because they serve the same purpose as LinkedIn, except they focus on virtual talent.
One of the primary advantages of using online job sites for recruitment is that they are very flexible – practices have more agency when it comes to the hiring process, but this also means they have to review numerous job applications, weed out unsuitable candidates, and create legally-binding contracts themselves.
Virtual Assistant Companies
Outsourcing or virtual assistant companies that find, hire, and train qualified remote workers is an excellent option for a more comprehensive recruitment process that requires little effort from the practice. These companies offer various recruitment services, such as conducting interviews, thoroughly screening candidates, and matching medical practices with their ideal virtual talent.
Most virtual assistant companies offer their talent HIPAA certification courses and refresher training, providing practice leaders additional assurance about data security and compliance. By hiring a virtual patient care coordinator through a virtual assistant company, practices can trust that they are more reliable and qualified than those from online job sites.
We at My Mountain Mover receive numerous applications from hopeful virtual medical assistants. Still, only the top 2% meet the rigorous screening process we implement so you can find the best person for the job. The virtual medical assistants in our pool are qualified to fill multiple practice roles, including patient care coordinator.
To learn more about how our virtual medical assistants maintain our high standards of quality and excellence, we would be delighted to speak with you during a brief 10-minute discovery call!