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Medical Office Administration 1A: Introduction

Medical Office Administrator Career Pathway Course Units

Unit 1: Working in the Medical Office

You’ve likely been to a medical office to see your physician and you may even have spoken with the receptionist. But do you know how a medical office operates? What are its functions? Who are the people who work there? What are their roles and responsibilities in helping to run the office efficiently for patients, physicians, and other healthcare providers? You’re about to find out! Let’s step inside a medical office and get to know some of its employees and what they do. Who knows, after you get to know them, you might just be intrigued enough to look for a career path in the medical office!

Unit 2: Communication & Professionalism

In any job, communication is extremely important. In healthcare facilities, communication is critical because it affects patients’ health, safety, and, at times, their very survival. Imagine what can happen if a medical assistant does not listen closely to crucial medical information provided by a patient or does not communicate the information to the physician. Medical office staff must not only communicate with patients but with each other and other healthcare workers, and they must do so effectively, for the care and safety of every patient.

Unit 3: Medical Terminology: The Language of Health Care

Parlez vous français? Imagine going on a school trip to France. In addition to getting a passport and packing your bags, you might think about learning the basics of the French language so you can communicate with people while in France. Working in health care is similar to visiting a foreign country. Before working in the medical field, you must understand the language to communicate effectively with the patients, staff, and providers. We call this language medical terminology, and it’s really easier to learn than most people think. Healthcare workers must have a working knowledge of medical terminology and be able to use the language in both verbal and written forms.

Unit 4: Procedures in the Medical Office

Most jobs require employees to follow certain procedures. Why? Policies and procedures act as a roadmap for the organization. Patients have high expectations of their physician and the medical office. They expect the staff to be knowledgeable in their jobs and that they follow office policies and procedures consistently. Procedures outline expectations of employees when conducting daily tasks. Following procedures helps internal processes run more efficiently and procedures safeguard the office against legal action, ensuring compliance with law and regulations. Most importantly, the primary reason to know and understand policies and procedures is so that we provide quality patient care in a safe environment.

Unit 5: Procedures & Patient Care

Clerical procedures in healthcare facilities are associated with either administrative tasks or clinical/patient care. Clerical procedures associated with clinical services affect patient care and are carried out by employees who possess a basic set of clinical skills, such as medical assistants, nursing assistants, nurses, etc. The focus of this unit is on the clerical procedures associated with direct patient care.

Unit 6: Information Technology in the Medical Office

The medical office relies on a variety of technology and computer systems to accomplish daily tasks and meet patient expectations. Years ago, a patient would call the office to get an appointment and/or request copies of their medical record. Now, patients can make appointments, request medication refills, and obtain copies of their record through the office’s patient portal. Technology that was once a luxury for large offices and organizations is now a necessity, and even the smallest offices can afford to use it. Examples of advances in technology include the electronic medical record, electronic prescribing, patient portals, email and voicemail reminders, automated patient appointments, and telemedicine. It’s amazing how the practice of medicine has been transformed by a computer.

Unit 7: Medical Records Management

Medical records are used to gather and document patients’ health and administrative information. Electronic medical records organize information in a manner that is easy to read, easy to search, and easy to use. Most medical offices use electronic medical records, but there are still some that prefer paper records. The offices that use electronic records still may use paper forms for certain services, but later transfer that information to the electronic record. Medical records assist physicians in providing the best care possible to their patients. They are also used to track information for reporting and data collection purposes. Everyone in the medical office should understand how a record is created, the content, organization of content, filing methods, and the legal requirements for working with medical records.