In addition to the Basic Office Skills, medical office professionals must possess additional clinical skills such as basic medical terminology, knowledge of health insurance, billing, records management and scheduling.
The American Association of medical Assistants website lists the medical office skills that you may perform if you decide to become a medical receptionist, medical assistant or medical secretary. These are outlined below::
Medical Office Skills and Duties.
- Front Desk Duties: Similar to a receptionist, front desk duties include answering phones, greeting patients and getting them checked in, scheduling/rescheduling appointments, assisting with coding and patient insurance information, collecting payments such as co-pays and performing a variety of day-to-day office procedures.
- Administrative Duties: These include using computer applications to compose routine correspondence, opening and sorting mail, billing patient statements, transmitting information electronically and basic bookkeeping. According to bls.gov, some medical assistants even buy and store supplies and equipment for the office.
- Basic Medical Terminology
- Records Management: Depending on the size of the medical office, the medical office professional may be responsible for maintaining, organizing, retrieving, updating and filing patient medical records.
- Billing and Insurance: Medical Office Professionals often fill out insurance forms or code patients’ medical information.
- Hospital admissions and laboratory services: Assistants may work closely with hospital administrators and laboratory services.
According to O*Net Online, the following knowledge and use of technology is useful:
Accounting Software — Billing software; Bookkeeping software
Electronic Mail Software — Email software such as Microsoft Outlook
Medical Software Programs— Electronic medical record EMR software; Patient management software; Visual electro diagnostic software
Office Suite software — Microsoft Office software or open source software such as OpenOffice.
Operating systems including Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8
Medical Office Professionals must have good communication skills in order to provide information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. The following list of communication skills needed are compiled from O*Net Online and the American Association of Medical Assistants website:
- The ability to abide by principles and laws related to confidentiality
- The ability to demonstrate respect for individual diversity (culture, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, age, economic status)
- The ability to comply with risk management and safety procedures
- Oral Communication: Ability to interact with staff and patients to optimize workflow efficiency
- Written Comprehension: The ability to document patients, observations, and clinical treatments
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Medical Office Careers
Medical Assistant: According to the latest data from bls.gov, Medical assistants complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other health practitioners. Their duties vary with the location, specialty, and size of the practice. The field is expected to grow due to the aging baby boom population. Average median pay is $29,370 per year or $14.12 per hour.
Medical Transcriptionist: According to the latest data from bls.gov, Medical transcriptionist’s listen to voice recordings that physicians and other healthcare professionals make and convert them into written reports. They may also review and edit medical documents created using speech recognition technology. Transcriptionist’s interpret medical terminology and abbreviations in preparing patients’ medical histories, discharge summaries, and other documents. Average median pay is $34,020 per year
or $16.36 per hour.
Medical Secretary: According to O*NET Online, Medical Secretaries perform secretarial duties using specific knowledge of medical terminology and hospital, clinic, or laboratory procedures. Duties may include scheduling appointments, billing patients, and compiling and recording medical charts, reports, and correspondence. Average median pay is $15.50 hourly or $32,240 per year.