Physicians cannot do it all. They need medical assistants to assist them in day-to-day activities to ensure that physician offices, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities provide patients with the best care possible. A medical assistant can make or break a practice. Taking vital signs, prepping rooms, assisting during exams, documenting medical information, and providing patient support and care are all medical assistant duties. Taking the time to improve the physician/medical assistant relationship at your facility will significantly enhance patient satisfaction. Your medical assistants will have an increased sense of work satisfaction, and they will be able to assist physicians with multiple aspects of patient care.
The relationship between a physician and a medical assistant can suffer from problems just like any other relationship. Physician and medical assistant relationships deteriorate from lack of attention, a lack of time spent together, failed expectations and lack of communication. The medical assistant is a focal point of the medical team because they coordinate patient care as well as take care of patients. They must be flexible with the ability to multitask. Physicians must spend time with medical assistants to establish effective working relationships and improve overall patient care.
Essential Components of a Physician/Medical Assistant Relationship
Spend time with your medical assistants, and you will see patient satisfaction increase. Your medical assistants will have an increase in work satisfaction, and they will be able to take on more responsibility. For a successful physician/medical assistant relationship to exist, a few elements are essential.
- Educate your medical assistant. Set aside time to discuss blood pressure goals, measure blood pressure, patient education, and address elevated blood pressure. Never assume that a medical assistant is not cooperative; there may be knowledge gaps that need addressing.
- Make your expectations clear. Does your medical assistant know the preferences of the physicians? A medical assistant cannot read minds and should not be required to do so. With clear expectations, it will be easy for your medical assistant to know whether they have met your expectations for the day if they understand what you want and how you want things done.
- Communication. It is vital to give positive reinforcement to your medical assistants. It is equally important to discuss areas that need improvement. Failure may result from a lack of knowledge, unclear expectations or unforeseen circumstances.
- Remain approachable. A physician must be approachable. Medical assistants must be able to come to a physician with concerns, questions and observations. The medical assistant is a crucial member of the health care team, and they must be aware of their importance to the practice.
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