How to Become a Virtual Medical Assistant (VMA)

Before you dive into the field, read this if you want to become a virtual medical assistant!

What is a Virtual Medical Assistant (VMA)?

To become a virtual medical assistant, you need to know that you’ll be assigned administrative and medical related tasks. A VMA is a type of administrative assistant who remotely supports healthcare professionals. VMAs are typically responsible for scheduling appointments, handling customer inquiries, and preparing patient files. While the duties of a VMA can vary depending on the employer, the common thread is that they all provide crucial support to the day-to-day operations of a healthcare practice.

The growing demand for remote work has driven the popularity of VMAs in recent years. With the rise of virtual care, more and more healthcare practices are moving their operations online. This shift has created a need for talented administrative professionals who are comfortable working remotely. Becoming a VMA is the perfect way to combine their passion for healthcare with their desire to work from home.

How can you become a Virtual Medical Assistant?

Evaluate if you have what it takes! Check your skill set below. 

A virtual medical assistant having clerical skills.

1. Clerical skills 

Excellent clerical skills are essential to become a virtual medical assistant. VMAs play a vital role in the day-to-day operations of healthcare facilities, and they need to handle a wide range of administrative tasks. From scheduling appointments and maintaining medical records to billing insurance companies and handling customer inquiries, they are responsible for keeping the wheels of the healthcare system turning. If you have superb organizational skills and a keen eye for detail, choosing the VMA career may be the perfect career.

A virtual medical assistant having medical background.

2. Medical Background

To become a virtual medical assistant, it is essential to have a strong background in medicine. A good understanding of human anatomy and physiology is necessary to properly perform the duties of a VMA. Additionally, it is essential to be familiar with common medical terminology and abbreviations to communicate accurately with other healthcare team members. 

A virtual medical assistant having customer service skills.

3. Customer service skills

If you’re interested to become a virtual medical assistant, developing strong customer service skills is essential. In this role, you’ll be responsible for interacting with patients and providing them with assistance and information. This means you’ll need to communicate effectively with people from all backgrounds and walks of life. 

In addition, you’ll need to be patient and understanding, as some patients may be dealing with difficult situations. Finally, you must remain calm and professionally handle difficult questions or requests. If you can develop these skills, you’ll be well to becoming a successful VMA.

A virtual medical assistant having empathy.

4. Empathy

As a VMA, having empathy is essential. You will work with patients dealing with various issues, from chronic pain to terminal illness. You must be able to put yourself in their shoes and understand what they are going through. This will help you better assist them with their needs and ensure they are getting the best possible care. 

A virtual medical assistant having organizational skills.

5. Organizational Skills

Organization skills are essential for anyone looking to become a virtual medical assistant. To be successful in this role, they must be able to keep track of a large amount of information and keep everything organized. They must also be able to communicate effectively with both patients and doctors. To become a virtual medical assistant, start by honing your organizational skills. Once you have these down, you’ll be well on your way to success in this field.

A virtual medical assistant having excellent communication skills.

6. Excellent communication skills 

You will communicate with patients via email, phone, and video chat in this role. In the course of your conversation with the patients, you’ll explain medical procedures and answer any questions patients may have. Additionally, you may relay information between the patient and the doctor. This is critical, as you will link the doctor and the patient. Because of this, you must have excellent communication skills. 

A virtual medical assistant being reliable.

7. Reliability 

In many cases, patients will rely on their VMA to provide them with crucial information and support. As such, VMAs must be able to be counted on to be available when needed. This means being punctual in responding to messages, meeting deadlines, and being truthful about one’s qualifications and abilities. 

Patients need to be able to trust their VMAs and reliability is the best way to build that trust. Those who become known for being reliable VMAs will find they are in high demand among patients and physicians.

What will you do when you become a virtual medical assistant? 

1. Answering inquiries

One of the tasks of a VMA is to answer inquiries promptly. This involves responding to questions from patients and families and providing information about medical procedures, test results, and appointment scheduling. 

2. Administration of patient record

This involves maintaining accurate and up-to-date records of patients’ medical history, treatments, and medications. VMAs work closely with healthcare providers to ensure that all patient information is accurately captured and stored. 

3. Medical billing and coding

As a VMA, you will handle all of the medical billing and coding for your clients. You will need to accurately code all of the treatments and procedures your clients receive. In addition, you will also need to be able to correctly bill all of the insurance companies for your clients. If you have experience with medical billing and coding, you may consider to become a virtual medical assistant.

4. Live taking of notes during a check-up.

This ensures that all the vital information from the visit is accurately documented. To become a virtual medical assistant, you need to have excellent listening skills and be able to type quickly and accurately. You also need to have a good understanding of medical terminology.

5. Patient Intake

The duties of a VMA can vary depending on the needs of the practice, but patient intake is typically one of the core responsibilities. During patient intake, the VMA will collect necessary information about the patient’s medical history, current symptoms, and medications. This information is then used to create a medical record that the physician can use to make treatment decisions.

6. Scheduling and follow-ups

This involves staying in communication with patients to ensure that they keep their appointments and follow their treatment plans. In some cases, you may also need to coordinate with other medical team members to schedule tests or procedures. 

Here are the tools you need to know when you become a virtual medical assistant!

  1. EMRs for the keeping of patient’s medical record 
  2. JotForm for remote monitoring a patient 
  3., Amwell, and MDLive for telemedicine practice 
  4. DrChrono, CureMD, and Kareo Billing for medical billing purposes 

Apply to be Core’s Virtual Medical Assistant!  

We’re always on the lookout for determined virtual medical assistants! If you know that you have it in you, then click here!