Are you thinking of becoming a medical secretary?
Do you have administrative experience, an interest in medicine, and great communication skills? If so, a career as a medical secretary could be ideal, but what exactly would you be doing? DMED blog takes a look at 10 tasks you will undertake as a medical secretary…
Transcription can be tricky, especially if you aren’t familiar with the specialty, or the clarity of the audio is poor. But chances are that once you settle into a role it’ll be second nature in no time.
Some practices outsource their dictation. In this case, your role in preparing documents is to ensure their accuracy and make sure they represent your practice. They should look professional, be error-free and include all relevant information.
Whether this is for your consultant’s clinic, theatre sessions, or non-clinical engagements; you will soon know your way around your practice’s various booking systems and diaries.
You are the practice’s first point of contact. The first person a patient speaks to will more often than not be you. A pleasant, approachable manner is key. You should keep in mind, however, that some people may be dealing with complex and upsetting situations. Dealing with queries in a sensitive manner is therefore essential. “It takes good interpersonal skills to be able to deal with patients in these situations, ” says Monique Van Der Berg, a member of the Designated Medical team. “You have to remain calm, listen and offer support.”
Depending on the size of your practice and the set-up of your facility, stock control may be your responsibility. You’ll develop knowledge about medical devices, clinical equipment prices and develop skills in supplier management.
As hard as consultants try, there will undoubtedly be occasions when clinic is running late. This could be because theatre has overrun, or a consultation took longer than expected. Waiting patients can quickly turn into unhappy patients, so make sure you keep them in the loop by being up front about the situation. “I believe if you are honest and up front with patients then they are more likely to understand the situation,” offers Joanne Packwood, a Designated Medical Secretary. “After all, we are all human and sometimes certain situations cannot be helped.”
Billing & insurance company liaison
In private practice, a medical secretary will have regular dealings with insurances companies to obtain authorisation for procedures and to coordinate payments. There will also be self-pay patients to deal with, so it’s important to treat sensitive information such as credit card details confidentially.
Keeping patient records secure
Working in a medical space, you will be legally obliged to keep all personal information secure. Access to this kind of data should be restricted only to those who need it. Furthermore, new regulations on data protection will be enforced from May 2018. For more information, read the DMED blog on GDPR and what you need to do to make sure your practice is ready.
Whether this relates to practice information about appointments and prices, or leaflets explaining different medical conditions, you will be dealing with healthcare information in some form or another. You may even be tasked with writing the content yourself.
Liaising with other healthcare professionals
It’s rare that a medical practice will be completely self-contained. The chances are that you will be liaising with and working with other facilities. This could include staff from other consultants’ offices, hospital staff, and insurance company staff. Everyone’s needs and requirements might not always align, so having good communication skills is absolutely vital.
Working as a medical secretary means you have the opportunity to make a real difference in patients’ lives. In addition to this, there are opportunities to develop professionally and great prospects for progression.
Designated Medical regularly recruits for new team members, and if you are a consultant looking for business support we have an experienced team of medical secretaries available with a wide range of skill sets to suit your practice needs. So, if you’re thinking of taking on a new role, or you’re looking for a highly skilled medical secretary, why not get in touch?