General Medical Virtual Assistants versus Virtual Medical Scribes: Spot the Difference

Medical professionals find medical assistants and scribes familiar. However, with technological advancements came the new breed of medical paraprofessionals who get to work remotely. In this blog, we compare general medical virtual assistants versus virtual medical scribes.

A Briefer on Remote Workers

Bottleneck Medical Virtual Services (BMVS) sprang from the business outsourcing agency Bottleneck Virtual Assistants (BNVA). Since 2006, BNVA has been hiring talented individuals looking to make a difference by helping business owners succeed from anywhere in the world. These remote workers (“virtual assistants”) function much like traditional, in-house employees.

That said, medical virtual assistants are remote workers working for physicians. They share responsibilities with your traditional medical assistants and scribes. The main difference lies in that they fulfill their roles without being in your actual office.

At BMVS, we offer two types of medical virtual assistant (MVA) services: the general medical virtual assistant (GMVA) and the virtual medical scribe (VMS). These MVAs differ in their skill sets and responsibilities as well as the tasks that they excel in. 

It is important to learn the key differences between these two MVAs to make a successful hire. They will also help you set clear expectations from your future MVA, which are crucial to maintaining a harmonious employee-employer relationship.

The General Medical Virtual Assistant

Medical practices have integral functions that keep them operating. These include administrative tasks that your general medical virtual assistant can do for you.

You can think of the GMVA as your remote medical assistant or MA. That is, any type of assistive or clerical tasks would be their specialty. Depending on how you run your practice, your GMVA can fulfill different duties, such as the following:

  • Appointment scheduling
  • Billing
  • Data encoding
  • Email management
  • Insurance verification and eligibility checks
  • Phone call reception
  • Prior authorizations

The Virtual Medical Scribe

Virtual medical scribes are your off-site scribes. They work closely with physicians to chart patient encounters real-time. A VMS encodes your progress notes into your electronic health records as you go through your medical examination.

The tasks virtual medical scribes perform require being well-versed in analyzing patient history and the intricacies of the EHR, including diagnostic codes. Hence, they undergo special certification training at the American College of Medical Scribe Specialists (ACMSS). 

Similarities Between GMVAs and MVS

Although they may share the differences stated above, GMVAs and MVS also have common ground. For one, they will have to get through our three-tiered vetting process prior to being considered qualified candidates. From there, they will undergo the hiring process and be required to take the HIPAA-compliance training.

All these processes ensure that we hire individuals with not only the capacity to perform their tasks. Medical virtual assistants will be handling patient health information. This means that they also have a hand in protecting and reinforcing the patient-physician trust that is important for your practice’s reputation.

Your medical virtual assistant will not just be another pair of hands in your practice. They will also be part of your family. Make sure you understand the limitations of their specific job roles to help you delegate tasks more effectively, ascertain smooth, foolproof operations and keep both your staff and your patients happy.

Related: Tips Before Hiring Your Medical Virtual Assistant

Looking to hire your own medical virtual assistant? Get started with a free consultation at Bottleneck Medical Virtual Services! Our implementation manual is also available for download—a quality, in-depth resource into what it takes to successfully get your virtual staff onboard, including a guide to optimal IT components.

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