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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. VMAs work remotely. This means 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 allows you to concentrate on the bigger picture: your medical practice and patients.
Here are a few common roles that VMAs fulfill:

  • Scheduling patient appointments
  • Organizing files and folders in your database
  • Collecting and entering patient data

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 Office Personal Assistant?

what is a virtual medical assistantA medical assistant 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. Medical virtual assistant services usually work remotely. Your VMA will connect with you through emails, telephone, online, 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 provides 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 VMAs 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 want to expand your services to people online.

Tips for Working with a Remote 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 is 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 contact 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 must ensure instruction clarity 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 lasting working relationship.


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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?

Having a clear understanding and expectation of what you need from your VMA 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 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 patient care delivery.

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 must track virtual medical assistants to maximize their results and increase efficiency. Whether your in-house staff oversees and monitors your VMA’s progress or you personally monitor them, a tracking system makes it simple and convenient.

One of the best options is a special program that helps you 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 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 regularly. 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 understand their roles well and there is no ambiguity.

4. Provide Support

Providing the necessary support and orientation based on progress reports is vital. 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 patience and provide the training and support needed to get up to speed. A good idea is to assign a mentor to train your VMAs on office procedures and internal rules and protocols.

By assigning a mentor, you can ensure that VMAs know 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. You should let your virtual medical assistant know if a change is needed 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 paying close attention to what your VMA can do differently or better instead of dwelling on their past mistakes is better.

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 strive to improve and grow with your medical practice continually.

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 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, remember these tips and tricks. They will help you transition seamlessly.

Revolutionizing Healthcare Shifts Virtual!

What Can a Remote Medical Assistant Do for You?

General Questions For You

Frequently Asked Questions

Virtual assistants can get paid in a variety of different ways. Some VAs are paid by the hour, day, or week for their services. Others charge per task that is completed, allowing for greater flexibility and control over how much they make. It’s important to decide what type of payment structure works best for you and your clients and to negotiate an agreement beforehand.

Additionally, many virtual assistants offer a range of services they can charge differently for, depending on the complexity and how long it will take them to complete. A simple social media post may take less time than building a website, so rates should reflect this accordingly.

Good communication with your clients is also essential. When you start working on a project, make sure that you discuss expectations up front and provide them with updates throughout the project so they can stay informed about the progress being made – and you can get feedback from them quickly if needed.

To work as a virtual assistant, you must have excellent computer skills and manage multiple tasks simultaneously. You should also be organized, reliable, and possess attention to detail. Furthermore, it is essential to be flexible and willing to learn new technologies quickly, as the virtual world is ever-changing.

A professional attitude is essential for success as a virtual assistant: you must maintain an ethical approach when dealing with personal information or sensitive topics, keep track of deadlines for your client’s projects, and be polite and respectful in all communications. It is also beneficial to have experience using customer relationship management tools like Trello or Slack that help manage client projects more effectively. Finally, having a working knowledge of online security protocols can help protect you and your clients against unwanted data breaches.

Virtual assistant work can be a rewarding career choice for those seeking flexible hours, the ability to work remotely, and the opportunity to create lasting relationships with their clients. As the Great Resignation continues and more employees leave their jobs, employers increasingly rely on virtual assistants to fill in the gaps in their workforce.

In addition to offering flexibility and autonomy, being a virtual assistant can help grow your professional network and open up more job opportunities. Because you are working remotely, you can gain access to a more significant number of potential customers worldwide, allowing for more variety in projects and potential earnings. Also, strong communication skills will be critical when dealing with clients and teams.

Overall, virtual assistant jobs offer an exciting alternative to a traditional office job while providing excellent earning potential and career growth opportunities.

Becoming a virtual assistant without experience can be frightening, but with proper planning and self-knowledge, getting started in the field is possible. Training courses help build core skills and industry knowledge, while self-reflection helps identify what kind of work you’re best suited for. Creating an online presence is an important step, as many clients look for potential VAs through their websites, portfolios, or social media networks like LinkedIn.

Starting off building client relationships can also be beneficial; as a beginner, VA having client references helps to build credibility and trustworthiness. Finally, it’s essential to have realistic expectations when starting out – setting reasonable prices based on your skill set and experience level will help ensure that you attract the correct type of clients for your services.

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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.

But supposing there was a method to alleviate this burden and free up more time for patient care? Enter the virtual medical assistant. So, what is a VMA? A VMA is a remote healthcare professional who provides administrative support to medical practitioners remotely. By outsourcing, Doctors and dentists can focus on delivering quality patient care administrative duties such as appointment scheduling, data entry, and medical billing to a VMA.

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 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 looking after people.

2. Improved Patient Experience and Quality of Care

Adult patient with dentist during a medical consultationNothing 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.

Patients can feel overlooked when a doctor or dentist is glued to the computer screen, quickly jotting down notes and rushing to their next appointment.

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

3. Slash Costs and Overheads

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

If your VMA spends one hour on a given task, you must 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. These cost savings are substantial, keeping your medical practice financially viable and efficient.

4. Improved Information Dissemination

Hiring a virtual medical assistant can improve correspondence and internal communication within your practice. Your assistants can connect you 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, email, phone calls, bill payments, etc. You can customize their schedule according to your needs. 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 more 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.

Remote Medical Assistant Duties

virtual medical assistant on duty

A remote medical assistant 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 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 ensure 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, 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 communication 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

 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!

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