Free Consultation
Consultation with the best

Best Tips for Working with a Virtual Medical Assistant

What is a Virtual Medical Assistant?

A virtual medical assistant (VMA) performs administrative tasks and duties that help keep your healthcare practice running smoothly. A VMA can save you valuable time, which you can spend on serving your patients. Virtual medical assistants work remotely. This means that you will not have to buy additional office equipment or supplies to accommodate the medical assistant. The primary purpose of hiring a VMA is to take care of the administrative responsibilities you cannot attend to as a practicing doctor or dentist. This gives you the time to concentrate on the bigger picture: your medical practice and patients. Here are a few common roles that VMAs fulfill:

Daniel Stifhen


Additional roles:

  • Medical scribe and transcription
  • Handling documentation, payments, and referrals
  • Responding to patient queries and questions to clarify and improve patient understanding
  • Following up and checking on patients after their appointments

Working with a VMA has many benefits. For example, it is a simple and economical way to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your healthcare practice. A VMA can improve operational productivity and organizational efficiency and create a smoother workflow.

What is a Virtual Medical Assistant?

what is a virtual medical assistantA VMA works remotely and performs various medical practice duties. These duties include:

  • Insurance verification
  • Prescription refills
  • Prior authorization
  • EMR data entry
  • Patient scheduling and scribing

Portiva provides a wide range of convenient virtual medical assistant services to meet your needs. Some of our services include scheduling appointments and handling billing and insurance concerns. Portiva’s VMAs can remotely perform patient-facing and backend tasks, keeping your medical practice streamlined and efficient.

Portiva has teams of staff with standardized skills and experience to meet your clinic and practice needs. They relieve physicians and dentists of the hassle of gathering, organizing, managing, and updating patient data. This will allow you to handle pressing matters and fulfill other key responsibilities.

Main Differences

The key difference that sets a virtual medical assistant apart from a personal healthcare assistant is working online versus in person. A medical virtual assistant services usually work remotely. Your VMA will connect with you through emails, telephone calls, online chat, and video calls.

Traditional medical administrative assistants work in person. The benefits of VMAs outweigh the benefits of a personal medical assistant. For example, a virtual assistant medical provide several of the same administrative services as in-house medical administrative assistants. These services include handling patient information, updating records, and prescription refills.

However, the best thing about virtual medical assistants is that they can offer additional services. These include:

  • Online consultation and diagnosis
  • Coding specialties
  • Prescription management
  • Health tracking.

Virtual assistants are well worth the investment since their role is comprehensive and all-encompassing. This makes them a worthwhile resource for healthcare practitioners. You will find VMAs immensely valuable if you are looking to expand your services to people online.

Tips for Working with a Virtual Medical Assistant

These tips and tricks will help you manage your medical VA.

1. Clear and Timely Communication

Regular and clear communication is the key to a successful and efficient clinical workflow. You should communicate your needs, preferences, and expectations clearly and precisely. By being more specific regarding what you need help with, you can make the most of a VMA.

A virtual administrative medical assistant receives training and are versatile and flexible. As a result, they can adapt to your procedures and guidelines for maximum benefit. You can also use different communication tools and platforms to get in touch with your virtual medical assistant. 

Here are the two common communications tools that you can use for communication:

Instant Messaging

These tools, such as Slack, and Rivers IM, allow you to:

  • Share files and tasks 
  • Sort out routine issues
  • Streamline and optimize processes by creating separate channels for each member
Video Calling

You can better resolve some queries and issues by discussing them over a video call. You can use tools like Zoom and Skype to: 

  • Conduct daily or weekly team meetings
  • Interact with your virtual healthcare team
  • Share your screen

virtual assistant having a skype video call to a doctor

While virtual medical assistants are savvy and independent, you should ensure availability to answer any questions they may have. Checking in with your virtual medical assistant and scheduling meetings is important, especially at the start. Another option is to assign an office manager who can be your assistant’s primary contact for administrative inquiries.

You have to ensure clarity of instruction between your in-house staff and virtual assistant. This helps ensure a smooth and seamless flow in the workplace. Clarity of instruction also keeps conflicts and misunderstandings at bay. Foster a healthy work environment to improve patient encounters. This will help build confidence and trust to develop a working relationship that lasts.


Happy Patients


Expert VAs


Avarage Rating


Satisified Doctors

2. Define the Scope of Work

The next important thing is to define the scope of work clearly. Consider the following:

  • What tasks and activities do you need help with?
  • Know the important deadlines
  • How can a VMA help you and your team optimize your office work so that you can devote more time to providing quality care and services to your patients?

When you have a clear understanding and expectation of what you need from your VMA, it will ensure that you and your medical assistant are on the same page. It will minimize conflicts.

You can ask your office manager to define the tasks you need your VMA to perform. This is because office managers are aware of all deadlines. Your in-house team can also monitor the VMA’s progress and ensure smooth workflow in your office or clinic.

You can get the best of both virtual assistants and in-house staff by clearly spelling out the scope of their work. This can promote a harmonious and optimal working relationship in your clinic and ensure better delivery of care to your patients.

3. Create a System to Track Progress

tracking service system managed by a female virtual medical assistantYou have to create a system or program for tracking progress. You have to track virtual medical assistants to maximize their results and increase their efficiency. Whether your in-house staff is overseeing and monitoring your VMA’s progress or you are personally monitoring them, a tracking system makes it simple and convenient.

One of the best options is to use a special program that helps you to track daily progress. A tracking system will help you stay updated on what has been done. You can also stay on top of the work that still needs to be done. This will help you improve your assistant’s productive flow and efficiency.

With a tracking system, you can identify areas where your VMA is lacking or may need more training. You should provide feedback on a regular basis. This will help improve their performance.

You should choose a tracking platform that integrates performance reviews, periodical objectives, and feedback. This will ensure that VMAs have a good understanding of their roles and there is no ambiguity.

4. Provide Support

It is vital to provide the necessary support and orientation based on progress reports. This is simply because many medical virtual assistants don’t possess healthcare skills. The benefit of working with Portiva is that our VMAs have a medical background and experience.

This means that you can focus on orienting them with general clinic tasks. So, there is no need to spend time orienting them with general clinical tasks.

Regardless of their background, VMAs will take time to get familiar with your office protocols and procedures. You need to have patience and provide the training and support needed to get up to speed. A good idea is to assign a mentor who can train your VMAs on office procedures and internal rules and protocols.

By assigning a mentor, you can ensure that VMAs are familiar with what’s expected of them. The mentor can answer any questions your assistants may have.

5. Schedule Regular Check-Ins

virtual assistant talking to her clientFrequently check in with your VMAs and meet them to discuss their progress. During these meetings, you can address their concerns too. This way, you can stay updated on their performance. This is also a great way to identify areas that need improvement.

During check-ins and meetings, you can also provide feedback and guidance and help them improve and become more efficient in their work. This will contribute to your practice’s success and growth. The frequency of check-ins and meetings depends primarily on your specific needs and preferences.

6. Provide Feedback

You should provide feedback to all employees, in-house and virtual. They all need to work efficiently to maintain an excellent standard of care and improve service delivery. If a change is needed, you should let your virtual medical assistant know as early as possible.

The main goal of feedback is to help your team members improve. So, it should be positive and constructive. This means it is better to pay close attention to what your VMA can do differently or better instead of dwelling on their past mistakes.

The sooner you provide feedback, the better. The reason is simple. If you wait too long, your virtual assistant, including your team leads, may not even remember what they did. As a result, they will have a more challenging time executing your strategies and implementing your suggestions.

By preventing errors early on, you can minimize bad practices. Let your VMA know what works well for you and your medical staff. You should be objective when giving feedback. Objective feedback would encourage your assistant to continually strive to improve and grow with your medical practice.

7. Be Patient

Keep in mind that working with a VMA takes time. You have to be patient. This is especially true if you haven’t used a VMA before. You should develop a professional relationship with your virtual assistant based on trust and mutual respect.

So, it is essential to clearly and precisely communicate what you need from your assistant. You can help your assistants become more efficient and productive by being patient and providing the needed orientation, training, and support.

Hiring a VMA is an excellent way to save effort, time, and money for your medical practice. If you’re considering hiring a VMA, keep these tips and tricks in mind. They will help you transition seamlessly.

Video Testimonials: A Happy Satisfied Doctor!

How much time can be saved by using a virtual medical assistant?

Benefits of Virtual Medical Assistants

With an ever-increasing and challenging load of administrative tasks, doctors and dentists spend 30% of their days on their computers, trying to keep up with menial and tedious paperwork.

You can easily avoid it by hiring a virtual medical assistant. Keep reading to know the top benefits of hiring a VMA!

1. Increased Efficiency

When it comes to improving your practice’s productivity and efficiency, nothing is more impactful than hiring a virtual medical assistant. Hiring a VMA requires no office space, supplies, or equipment, reducing the need for expensive facilities.

A medical office’s efficiency is crucial to its success and growth. Your patients depend on you to provide quality care. This means you must manage your time well while maximizing the available resources. With a VMA, you can make your medical facility more efficient and streamlined.

Virtual medical assistants can help order prescriptions, update electronic medical records, and complete patient charts. This allows you to commit more time and effort to look after people.

2. Improved Patient Experience and Quality of Care

Adult patient with dentist during a medical consultation Nothing is more important for a practice’s success and growth than providing an exceptional patient experience and quality services. The top benefit of hiring a virtual medical assistant is that they can help improve the patient experience and quality of care.

When a doctor or dentist is glued to the computer screen, quickly jotting down notes, and rushes off to their next appointment, patients can feel overlooked.

When your practice hires and integrates virtual assistants, your patients will enjoy increased attention and better communication. This leads to more satisfied and loyal patients who will support your medical practice for many years to come.

3. Slash Costs and Overheads

VMAs are valuable as they help you save the cost of hiring in-house staff. Virtual medical assistants have become a staple in the US healthcare industry. You just pay for the work or services that you need.

If your VMA spends one hour on a given task, you just have to pay for that hour. There is no need to pay for other employee costs, such as HR support or benefits.

VMAs can also reduce office space costs, such as rent. This is because virtual medical assistants work remotely. As a result, you don’t need to pay for office space or computer equipment and computers. Altogether, these cost savings are substantial, keeping your medical practice financially viable and efficient.

4. Improved Information Dissemination

You can improve correspondence and internal communication within your practice by hiring a virtual medical assistant. Your assistants can keep you connected to your patients by communicating test results, appointment reminders, and other important information. This helps minimize the risk of confusion and keeps everyone updated.

5. More Flexibility

With a VMA, you can benefit from a more flexible and convenient working arrangement. VMAs can manage your schedule and appointments more effectively. This is especially true if you’ve multiple clinics.

VMAs are skilled in handling administrative tasks, managing email, phone calls, bill payments, etc. You can customize their schedule according to your needs. Using a virtual assistant will help you be more flexible and responsive as a doctor.

6. Lower Attrition Rates

You can use a VMA to help reduce staff attrition rates. This is because they free up doctors and nurses so they can concentrate on providing quality care and service to patients. By hiring a virtual medical assistant, you and your in-house team can enjoy a better work-life balance by handing off menial and tedious paperwork and administrative tasks.

When your medical team is not burdened and overwhelmed by documentation, they will feel a higher sense of fulfillment and achievement in caring for people. According to statistics, less stressed medical staff means lower attrition rates.

Reducing the attrition rate is vital for the medical field. This is because it ensures that your workforce is qualified and stable. When workers or nurses leave their jobs, it can usually create a ripple effect throughout an organization, and you don’t want that.

Virtual Assistant Duties

virtual medical assistant on duty

A virtual assistant healthcare can perform a variety of tasks, including the following:

  • Answering queries and questions
  • Medical scribe and transcription
  • Handling documentation, payments, and referrals
  • Managing electronic health records
  • Handling insurance paperwork
  • Providing customer service
  • Organizing files
  • Billing clients

What to Consider When Hiring a Virtual Medical Assistant

Below are the virtual medical assistant traits and skills that you should look for.

1) Experience

You will be happy to know that many virtual medical assistants are already familiar with the healthcare industry. However, you have to determine if your VMA is capable of delivering skills and has the experience that is relevant to your field of expertise. This will make sure that they have an idea of what is expected of them and can hit the ground running.

2) Availability

Like many remote workers, VMAs aren’t confined to standard working hours. Although some workers prefer the conventional 9-to-5 shift, others may work weekends, nights, and even part-time during the work week. So, if you need a VMA available during specific times of the day or week, make sure you specify that when hiring them.

3) Skills

Besides experience and training, you should ensure that the VMA you are considering has the necessary skills, such as communications skills, for the job. With the right interpersonal and communication skills, a virtual assistant can create the ideal bridge between your medical practice and its patients.

Final Thoughts

You probably had a lot of questions, such as what is a virtual medical assistant. How can a VMA benefit your practice? The job of a VMA is to support medical professionals, such as doctors and nurses, remotely.

Whether you are a family physician or a dentist, you probably have a lot on your plate. From scheduling appointments and examining patients to managing your staff, there is no shortage of tasks on your long to-do list. So, you need to delegate strategically.

You can hire VMAs to supplement in-office staff. They can perform many other tasks, including scheduling appointments and managing patient records. By hiring a VMA, you can free up your time and focus on providing a better patient experience and quality care to your patients.

Fortunately, a VMA is often the perfect resource that will help you save time, eliminate redundant non-clinical tasks, and slash operating costs. Working with a VMA can considerably improve your practice’s efficiency, bottom line, and quality of care.

Portiva provides a range of virtual medical assistant staff services to meet your needs. We are the most reliable and affordable source providing virtual medical staff. Portiva’s virtual staffing services are flexible and have a proven track record of quality and excellence. 

Portiva also caters dental virtual assistant, medical data entry, virtual health assistant and so much more!

Get Free Consultation

From Our Top VAs 24x7

Need Help?

Reach To Us Today!