Properly Trained Medical Assistants Can Benefit Primary Care Practice

HealthDay News — Qualified medical assistants can help primary care practices become more efficient, reduce patient wait times, and streamline patient processing, but their training may be lacking, according to an article published online in Medical Economics.

According to the article, significant variation in medical assistant training and credentialing can lead to a lack of skills and knowledge. Primary care practices should be astute when hiring medical assistants and aim to hire only those who are highly qualified and well-trained.

Many important soft skills (like communication, time management, problem solving, and adaptability) can be improved with rigorous training. 

Practices should look at a medical assistant candidate’s transcript; whether they completed a 160-hour-minimum externship with hands-on training in an outpatient setting; whether their program was accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools; and whether they passed a rigorous, secure exam.

Finally, medical assistants who start a job after having undergone more rigorous training may complete orientation more quickly, which can lead to lower training costs.

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Purdy P. A physician’s solution to rising healthcare demands. Medical Economics. October 10, 2017.