Medical Assistants play an essential role in any healthcare setting. They keep the day flowing smoothly by performing vital administrative and patient care duties, as well as ensuring that physicians and providers have all of the information and medical supplies they need in order to deliver a high standard of patient care and service.
However, despite all of the crucial duties medical assistants perform on a daily basis, they are often capable of taking on even more responsibility. MA’s are typically the first medical staff member that a patient comes into contact with. With proper training, an underutilized medical assistant can play a significant, primary role as a more valued member of a care team.
By expanding the medical assistant role, this also relieves some of the burden off of the physician’s shoulder’s, allowing them to provide a higher standard of care to their patients.
That’s exactly what the North Shore Physicians Group (NSPG) out of Boston decided to do by creating a three-step program to empower their medical assistants which yielded positive results.
Step One: Standardizing the Education of Medical Assistants
In 2010, NSPG launched what they call a "Clinical Redesign" curriculum which provided a higher caliber of training for MA’s across the board. The basis for this training was focused on enhancing job performance as well as job satisfaction of Medical Assistants by providing baseline standards. These baseline standards allowed MA’s to be recognized as a critical team member by utilizing them more effectively in the patient care delivery model.
Step Two: Refining the Medical Assistant Role
In order to fully improve and empower the medical assistant role and reduce the provider’s workload, the NSPG first had to redefine the role of the MA within their practice. To get the most out of their new training, MA’s were assigned new responsibilities, such as agenda setting, routine screenings, improving their skill set, and transitioning them into new patient care roles.
Step Three: Offering Professional Development Opportunities
In addition to receiving new training and responsibilities, the MA’s at NSPG were offered career enhancing opportunities by various organizations such as the Medical Assistant Council and Employee Education Assistance Program. By adding these organizations, it helped promote growth from within the practice.
The North Shore Physicians Group achieved significant and remarkable results from this three-step initiative. By providing their MA’s with additional training, added responsibilities, and better career opportunities, they were also able to solve operational challenges at their practice as well as open new doors for the medical assisting profession as a whole.
The results speak for themselves:
- Medical Assistant turnovers were reduced by 14%
- Physician satisfaction scores were increased by 14%
- Number of MA’s seeking national credentials increased by 48%
NSPG isn't alone in their recognition of the need for improving the medical assistant role. As the demands for health care continue to increase, so does the need for qualified medical assistants. If you are interested in this exciting, fast-paced and prosperous career opportunity, contact Athena Career Academy today to learn more about their clinical medical assistant program.