Medical assistants are an essential part of any medical office or clinic.
Performing both clinical and administrative duties, medical assistants provide support for physicians, and do a variety of tasks. Right now, there appears to be a sizeable demand for medical assistants over the next decade to keep up with demand.
Advances in medical technology are helping improve and evolve the work that medical assistants do daily.
In the posts below, we look at some of the leading technological changes which are helping medical assistants connect with patients and work more effectively.
1. Electronic Health Records
In the past, paper records of each patient were kept in a medical office. More recently, the medical industry has adopted Electronic Health Records (EHR).These records contain the entirety of patient data, with the ability to be shared across medical providers. Electronic heath records allow physicians and medical assistants to access useful patient information and provide the best medical care possible.
Inputting medical information into a EHR may take a bit more time, but the benefits of recording data in this manner has a lot of upsides. Medical assistants may often be tasked with recoding this information accurately.
By recording and storing patient information in a centralized location, the full picture of a patient’s health history can be accessed by authorized parties at a variety of health facilities.
Some of the information in an Electronic Health Record may include a patient’s medical history, diagnoses, treatment plans, medications, prescriptions, immunization records, radiology scans, and lab results.
2. Increased Adoption of Telemedicine
Telehealth has gained widespread adoption in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many health providers and patients use virtual sessions to make medical care more convenient and less time-consuming, and less costly. Medical assistants may relay information to or collect information from patients through a video call.
Telemedicine is also increasingly being used for diagnosis, and for different applications like psychiatric services. Because telemedicine is more convenient in many cases, preventative medicine is also encouraged by these advances in telecommunications.
Some hospitals are offering pilot programs with medical assistants, providing an MA for each Provider who is working from home doing telehealth. Because of the EHR’s it is easy to access from home, making it a great new option for training medical assistants to work from home virtually rooming patients.
3. Health Management Through Mobile Apps
Using smartphones and other mobile devices, patients and healthcare providers can benefit from healthcare apps. Patients can use apps to record real-time health data to share with their physician, book an appointment, or track blood sugar levels. Mobile apps can also play a big role in telehealth.
Healthcare applications can also help medical assistants do their job more efficiently. Nursing Central is a subscription-based reference app that contains comprehensive pharmacology references, medical terms, disease and disorder library, and more. Medscape is a free app that is a handy reference for FDA approvals, prescription drug details, medical news, and disease lookup. Epocrates is a point of reference app with free and premium content, with disease information, drug interaction check, and diagnostic information.
4. Data Collection
Medical assistants must be computer savvy, as computer applications are used to collect and store health data. Anonymized health data can be used to improve interoperability: which is the lack of portability of health data from one organization to another for processing.
In November 2020, Google Cloud launched its healthcare interoperability readiness program. This program exists to help insurance companies (payers), health providers, and other health organizations prepare for upcoming federal interoperability regulations. Participating health providers will have access to data templates, app blueprints, security tools, and implementation guidelines. The potential for Big Data to transform the healthcare industry is sizeable.
Medical Assistant Training is a Phone Call Away
MTI College in Sacramento, California offers two comprehensive medical assisting programs for students who want to start a medical career.
Our Medical Assisting with Phlebotomy Certificate program prepares students for the Nationally Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) exam and Certified Phlebotomy Technician exam in a little over a year.
We also offer a Medical Assisting program that gets students ready for certification in about 42 weeks.
Both programs give medical students both academic and clinical training with a 160-hour externship, where students perform administrative and clinical procedures.
We’re here to help you start your medical career!