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Medical Office Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Medical Office Assistant, or a Medical Secretary takes care of administrative tasks and ensures that a medical practice or clinic runs smoothly. Their primary duties include transcribing patient letters and records, billing patients, keeping accounts, scheduling appointments and filing claims with insurance companies.

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Medical Office Assistant duties and responsibilities

As Medical Office Assistants work in many different kinds of medical environments, their duties vary. Those who work at smaller facilities may take on some of the tasks that Receptionists and Clerks would typically manage in a larger institution like a hospital. Generally, their day-to-day tasks include:

  • Scheduling meetings and taking minutes
  • Maintaining and updating patient records and handling confidential information
  • Handling office communication and correspondence, including phone calls and emails
  • Managing patient communication, including the booking and rescheduling of appointments
  • Taking care of travel and accommodation arrangements
  • Creating accurate documents, such as letters, reports and case notes from digital recordings or notes
  • Maintaining an office’s appearance and ordering supplies as needed
  • Overseeing other administrative staff, such as Receptionists and Clerks
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What does a Medical Office Assistant do?

Medical Office Assistants provide support services in a medical office to ensure that patients receive quality care and service. They handle various administrative and secretarial duties and free up the time of medical professionals, so that they can focus on providing quality patient care. Depending on the work environment and the size of the facility, Medical Office Assistants either provide support for senior members, a specific medical department or a whole facility. They could be based in specialist clinics, general practitioners’ offices, hospitals, universities or health centres, and may work alone or as a part of an administrative team.

Medical Office Assistant skills and qualifications

Although Medical Office Assistants handle a lot of administrative duties, they also interact with patients, suppliers, medical staff and other administrators throughout the working day. They therefore need to have excellent interpersonal and communication skills. A successful Medical Office Assistant will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include:

  • A solid understanding of medical terminology to effectively create medical documents
  • Excellent organisational skills to ensure patients and medical staff receive timely and quality support
  • Empathy for dealing with patients and their families
  • Solid IT skills, including knowledge of the necessary word processing, database, transcription, scheduling and billing software
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Good teamwork skills when working within a diverse administration team

Medical Office Assistant experience requirements

Medical Office Assistants typically need previous experience in an administrative position. As the job requires knowledge of medical terminology, they must have previous administrative experience within a healthcare environment. Depending on the position, they may need experience in digital dictation and transcription, general office support and relevant software programs. An understanding of health-related policies, such as confidentiality and incident reporting is beneficial.

Medical Office Assistant education and training requirements

There are no set educational and training requirements for this profession. However, as the job requires a good standard of literacy and numeracy skills, Medical Office Assistants need at least a few GCSEs, grade C or above, including maths and English. Candidates must also demonstrate their skills and knowledge in the field by obtaining a professional qualification through a college or a professional body. The Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Managers, Administrators and Receptionists (AMSPAR), for instance offers various qualifications, such as a Level 2 Certificate and Diploma in Medical Administration.

Medical Office Assistant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Medical Office Assistant in the UK, is £21,129 per year. Salaries will vary, depending on factors like level of experience, location and employer.

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Medical Office Assistant job description FAQs

What are the hours of a Medical Office Assistant?

The hours of a Medical Office Assistant are dependent on the work environment. Those who work in facilities or departments that offer a seven days a week, 24-hour service, such as an emergency department, may work shifts on a rota basis. However, the job can also involve a normal Monday to Friday, 40-hour workweek.

What's the difference between a Medical Receptionist and a Medical Office Assistant?

A Medical Receptionist has a more junior position than a Medical Office Assistant. Medical Receptionist typically welcome and direct visitors and patients. They may also answer and route phone calls and may also have administrative duties like filing. Medical Office Assistants have a wider scope of duties and may oversee other administrative staff, such as Medical Receptionists.

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