The role of a medical assistant is varied and challenging. As with other jobs in the medical field, medical assisting is constantly evolving. Technology has been one of the most instrumental catalysts for change in the medical field.
In this article, you’ll learn more about the top ways technology has improved the work experience and productivity opportunities for medical assistants. These new technologies include electronic health records, easier data collection with handheld devices, expanded telehealth options, use of mobile devices to track wellness, and the use of software technology to assist in diagnosis and disease control.
Electronic Health Records
More and more of the medical industry has embraced the use of electronic health records. Because they are more thorough than traditional methods of recordkeeping, electronic health records can be a bit more time-consuming. But as they are becoming widely used across medical facilities and practices, the records make it easier than ever to have patient information at your fingertips. The more available information about your patient’s health history, the easier it is to provide the best possible medical care.
Easier Data Collection with Technology
Collecting vital information about patient health is one of the most essential tasks of the medical assistant. Technology is making it easier to gather this crucial information and pass it along to the physician. Handheld device technology have provided the ability to quickly and reliably collect information, such as pulse oximetry and blood pressure.
Technology also makes it easier to compile lab results, vital signs, and other data about the patient’s health.
When doctors have all this information readily at hand, they are better at selecting the right treatments.
Expanded Telehealth Technology Options
More physician practices are offering instant access to medical information through telehealth programs. Such programs provide medical information over the phone, allowing patients more health care opportunities at extended hours. This also changes the role of medical assistants, who may be required to assume additional duties.
Medical assistants may be given tasks like answering patient calls under the doctor’s direction. Some highly qualified and capable medical assistants may be able to distinguish themselves by taking on extra responsibilities for managing these calls. Because telehealth technology generally saves money for insurance companies, it will likely comprise a greater part of future work in the medical industry.
Using Mobile Devices to Track Wellness
Smartphones incorporate technology to help individual users track and manage their wellness. Apps can track your daily step count and record your daily food intake or trends in your weight. Smartphone apps can also help you manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, mental illness, and even multiple sclerosis or other autoimmune conditions.
These wellness apps provide patients with frequently updated information about how well their health is controlled. This in turn gives medical assistants the information they need to help patients communicate more effectively with their physician.
Using Software to Assist in Diagnosis and Disease Control
An IBM supercomputer, nicknamed “Dr. Watson,” has the ability to help diagnose patients, especially those with more complex medical situations. The supercomputer has an artificial intelligence interface that stores information and is able to quickly recall and apply it.
As it gains more widespread use, medical assistants may have new responsibilities to assist in using this software technology to help doctors and their patients.
As you can see, the medical assisting career field is always changing. The medical assistant of today and the future will need to be well trained, highly skilled, and adaptable to the ways technology is advancing the health care field.
Medical assistants of the future aren’t just members who exist in the shadows. Instead, they are indispensable staff members contributing to patient health. With vocational school medical assistant programs, you can get started in this exciting field right away.
Did learning about medical assistant technology interest you? The Medical Assistant program at Hunter Business School prepares competent, entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains required for professional practice.
Medical Assistant students learn to perform venipuncture (drawing blood), prepare patients for examinations, assist with exams and special procedures, perform electrocardiography (EKGs), and carry out various laboratory tests.