Top 16 Medical Office Assistant Skills to be best on the Job
The job of a medical office assistant requires solid skills and qualities, as well as formal education and training to attain your best performance on the job and succeed in your career.
Medical office assistants are trained professionals functioning in a role that requires them to provide customer service and office support when working with patients.
They perform various duties including checking in patients at the front desk, scheduling patients for appointments, answering phone, interviewing patients, and compiling medical records and charts. See full medical office assistant job description.
They work in a variety of settings, rendering medical office assistance to hospitals, healthcare facilities, and clinics.
Here are top 16 skills and qualities you need to have to become a good medical office assistant and to attain a greater professional height:
1. Communication Skills: The medical office assistant job requires excellent written and oral communication skills. The assistant should be pleasant and well-mannered in their communication with patients and colleagues, as well as with families, relatives, and friends of patients.
2. Problem Sensitivity Skills: To solve a problem is quite different from sensing it. In this case, medical office assistants should be able to tell when something is wrong or is about to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, but just becoming aware of the problem.
3. Computer Skills: Medical office assistants need to take healthcare assistant courses to learn Word, Excel, or even accounting software such as Intuit QuickBooks. A medical office assistant should be able to use the computer to record patients’ diagnostic codes and personal data.
4. Organizational Skills: Medical office assistants should possess the skills of filing patient records and keeping them organized and updated. They should ensure that all medical files, radiology image, and lab report or photocopy are stored in their proper place as doctors and nurses may have need of them at any time.
5. Time Management Skills: Medical office assistants should be able to manage their time well, as well as that of their bosses. They may use calendar to set meetings for their bosses, request attendance from others and coordinate their responses.
6. Problem Solving Skills: Medical office assistants with problem solving skills can easily detect conflicts within the office among personnel, and collaborate effectively with suppliers to ensure that orders are fulfilled following agreed terms, invoices are paid and refunds or exchanges are processed.
7. Medical Terminology Skills: The skills of medical terminology help in differentiating medical office assistants from administrative assistants. For a medical office to run effectively, the employees need to be familiar with doctor and patient terminology and general medical procedures.
8. Attention to Detail: Medical office assistants need to give full attention to detail when performing lab procedures, interfacing directly with patients, or handling coding and billing tasks. In order to avoid making unnecessary mistakes, medical office assistants need to always give their full attention to detail.
9. Interpersonal Skills: Medical office assistants interact with different kinds of people every day. For an assistant to be a people person, he or she needs to be pleasant and helpful to patients, doctors, nurses, and medical staff.
10. Privacy and Confidentiality: The privacy and confidentiality of patients should be respected regarding their personal and medical information. This will make the patients to trust you as a medical office assistant, as well as your boss and other people. The skill doesn’t require much training but it is very essential for the job.
11. Follow Up Skills: Medical office assistants should always follow up on situations. After suggesting and implementing a solution to a customer’s problem, they need to follow up either with an email or a phone call. This is to ensure that the solution actually solved the problem and that the customer is satisfied with it.
12. Clinical Skills: Clinical skills are a must-possess for every medical office assistant, and the skills can be gained through hands-on training and practical experience. Lessons such as physiology, anatomy, medical terminology and ethics are taught during program courses. Yet, students need to put these theories into practice. For instance, medical office assistants should experience performing injections to patients under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
13. Confidence: Medical office assistants need to show some confidence by calming down during stressful and difficult situations. They should trust their abilities and self-reliance, and not to fret or panic for any reason.
14. Active Listening Skills: Medical office assistants should be active listeners, and must display the skills when communicating with customers, to ensure that they are actually listening to what customers are saying. They can ask questions to make sure they understand every point being made, and take note of phone numbers, dates, and correct spelling of names.
15. Patience and Compassion: Medical office assistants ought to understand that their job is a stressful one that needs patience, and that they must be sensitive to needs of patients under severe emotional and physical pains. They should speak kindly to family members of patients and also use the same utterance and tolerance on patients.
16. Smiling: Whether medical office assistants are dealing with customers face to face or on phone, they should always smile to prove their trustworthiness and that of their company. This makes a big difference in the customer’s life, so you should not think that because you are having a phone conversation with a customer they don’t know when you smile.
Are you a medical office assistant who wants to be best on your job and excel in your career? If you are, then the above are skills and qualities you need to develop.
Also, if you are an employer needing good medical office assistants to hire, you can include the above skills and qualities in the job requirements to screen candidates and pick the best for the job.