Pros and Cons of Hiring Medical Virtual Assistants

Every day, physicians face new challenges that result from the evolving medical industry. Many have turned to outsourced services such as medical virtual assistants (MVAs) to help their practices deal with these changes. Before you jump on board, get to know the pros and cons of hiring MVAs.

The Good

1. Lowered costs

Running a medical practice entails financial investments for human resources. Among other benefits, hiring an MVA for your practice can cut costs that typically come with hiring on-site employees.

Additional expenses for benefits and training are reduced if not completely curtailed. Since medical virtual assistants work with their own equipment, the responsibility of keeping their tools in mint condition also falls in their hands.

When you hire a remote worker, you pay only for the time they put in to accomplish the tasks you hired them for. This lowers inadvertent expenses for idle time that salaried employees might spend while on the clock. 

2. Increased productivity and efficiency

Hiring a medical virtual assistant means you can let go of the menial tasks needed to keep your practice running. Depending on the type of medical virtual assistant that you decide to get onboard, you can target challenges that affect the overall productivity of your practice.

A Virtual Medical Scribe (VMS) can take care of your progress notes so you can focus on your patients during encounters. A General MVA can also answer phone inquiries and confirm appointments so your staff can channel their energies towards receiving and educating patients as they come and go. 

With an MVA, you get to grow in your role and provide your staff the same opportunity. This helps boost your team’s morale, ultimately contributing to workplace productivity and efficiency.

3. Scalability

Implementing remote workers with proper systems in place can raise a business to a position for growth. The same is possible for medical practices. When you hire an MVA to fill in the gaps in your practice, you present yourself with the opportunity to scale up.

Medical virtual assistants can be key to the success of a medical practice when they are implemented effectively. You clear your plate and your staff’s of the repetitive, smaller tasks of the practice. This bolsters your organization’s focus on patient relationships, improvement of services and eventually, growth.

The Not-So-Good

1. Communication challenges

Technology has made it possible to collaborate with someone from halfway across the world through phone calls, chat, and even video teleconferences. However, unforeseen circumstances such as power outages and Internet drops can cut off even the most robust communication channels.

When you decide to hire an MVA, make sure you anticipate the possibility of encountering this snag. In such instances, contingencies built into your processes will curb the damage that an indisposed MVA might deal with in your practice. 

2. Minimal supervision, increased possibility of errors

Your MVA works remotely so personal supervision is kept at a minimum. While they can work efficiently, performance evaluation will most likely have to wait until they have completed their output. This can give way to errors that can potentially eat up time as they will ultimately need to be corrected.

Setting a regular schedule to assess their performance during their first few weeks gets your MVA up to speed. Train them in your processes and redefine expectations if needed so they can eventually work in tiptop form with little to no supervision needed.

Maintain open communication lines. Your MVA should feel comfortable to raise questions that they find impossible to seek answers to.

3. Increased risk of compromised data

Since information will be shared across channels outside of your own network, data security is also put at risk. You should set up protocols to prevent compromise. Make sure that your MVA abides by your policies and does their part in safeguarding private information.

Hiring a medical virtual assistant comes with benefits and risks like any other investment. When you choose to implement them in your practice, be mindful of the risks that remote work entails. Enlist the help of your staff to come up with strategies to minimize such hazards.

At BMVS, we seek to guide you in understanding both the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing services for your practice. Let us show you what you can do to successfully hire your own medical virtual assistant.

Do you wish to save your practice and improve patient care? Schedule 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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