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Virtual Assistants and Healthcare: Can it Work?

By Townes Haas   |    April 3, 2015   |    3:26 PM

How Virtual Assistants Can Make Doctor's Offices More Efficient

It is a well-known fact that doctors work a lot of hours. While they would love to dedicate most of these hours to their patients, much of this time is spent on paperwork, phone calls and dealing with insurance companies – especially for small one- to two-person offices.

Any of these smaller doctors' offices can't afford full-time staff while others simply want to reduce the overhead expenses that come with full-time, in-house employees.

Virtual Assistants – Are They a Solution?

One of doctors' biggest concerns is staying in compliance with HIPAA, and many believe that only in-house staff can be trusted to adhere to this requirement. This is actually not the case. Many virtual office assistant staffing services are now HIPAA conversant, and virtual assistants are constantly trained on the latest requirements.

How to Use a Virtual Assistant

Now that you know that using a virtual assistant is a viable option, you're going to want to know what type of work can be outsourced to a virtual office provider. For the most part, virtual assistants can service the same type of tasks that in-house staff can perform. This includes:

  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Providing appointment reminders
  • Following up with patients
  • Gathering insurance information
  • Updating patient files and other data entry duties
  • Ordering needed supplies
  • Doing any other duties as required, including accounting and payroll

    Virtual assistants can also act as receptionists, answering any calls that come through and responding to high-level questions from clients. When the client has a more in-depth question, the virtual assistant can take messages for the doctor.

    Major Benefits of a Virtual Assistant for Doctors' Offices

    Virtual assistants offer a number of benefits over in-house employees. In-house staff requires a desk, chairs, equipment, benefits, etc. Virtual assistants have all of their own equipment and their own office space. Because a virtual assistant is an employee of a staffing agency, the agency is required to provide benefits to them – not the doctors. This reduces overall overhead costs.

    Virtual office companies have a pool of qualified, knowledgeable virtual assistants that are always on hand to provide services to doctors – eliminating the concern that a call might go unanswered during busy office days. Virtual assistant staffing agencies ensure that someone is on duty every time an assistant is needed.

    The major benefit of a virtual assistant is that it allows doctors to focus on their patients and feel comfortable that the day-to-day administrative tasks are being met.

    Doctors should consider hiring virtual assistants, particularly when they have limited resources to hire additional staff and/or are looking to streamline their business.

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