A Beginners Guide to Medical Office Administration

November 26th, 2014 by CTSCCC

A career as a medical office administrator is synonymous with the words challenging and rewarding. Just as you won’t hear lawyers singing the law school Barrie blues anytime soon, successful medical admins are generally very satisfied with their careers – and for good reason.

Medical office administrators are talented multitaskers who combine a range of skills to manage daily operations. They’re part medical professional, part secretary, part accountant, part manager, part psychologist and part customer service representative. Imagine combining an accountant career in Barrie with helping the sick and coordinating the efforts of a specialized medical team – and you’ve got a fairly accurate picture of the medical office administrator’s job.

A Key Role in Patient Care

While they may not scrub up like doctors or nurses do, medical office administrators do need to prepare carefully before serving patients. They must achieve an effective balance of professionalism and compassion, lending an empathetic ear while recording detailed health histories. They are generally the first person a patient sees or speaks with, and since patients seeking medical care are typically unwell or distressed, the medical office admin must understand how to both soothe and direct them.

These professionals schedule first and subsequent appointment for patients, ensure a clean and friendly waiting room environment and relay information between patients, families, and doctors or nurses. Given that quite a bit of this information relates specifically to a patient’s condition and treatment, the medical office administrator should have a good understanding of anatomy and physiology.

The Backbone of the Medical Office

Medical office administrators aren’t just friendly people with highly developed interpersonal skills. They also need to keep things running smoothly by coordinating schedules. To do this effectively, they need to be highly organized and detail-oriented. In addition to steering the natural flow of work in a medical office, medical office administrators are also the official record keepers. They create patient records, and ensure these records are organized in a practical and accessible way. Medical office admin staff help organize:

  • Patient medical histories
  • Billing for medical equipment
  • Prescriptions
  • Medicare information
  • Payroll (yes, payroll courses do help in this field)

Medical office administrators are the backbone of the medical clinic, helping doctors and nurses deliver more effective patient care.

Many Potential Places of Employment

There are quite a few work environments that could be categorized as medical offices – and all of them need efficient, compassionate and qualified administrators. Trained administrators can hope to find work in places like:

  • Hospitals
  • Single or multiple doctor offices
  • Interdisciplinary clinics
  • Chiropractic and Physiotherapy offices
  • Dentists’ offices
  • Assisted-living facilities
  • Urgent care centres

No matter the occupational environment, medical office administrators are an integral part of the health care community, providing essential links between patients, doctors and nurses.

What attracts you to a career as a medical office administrator?