Medical Assistant 101 – Duties And Responsibilities of Medical Assistants

Curious about what Medical Assisting is? Well, it is one of the fastest growing careers nowdays. Experts say that this job will be the most promising for the next ten years because of the technological advancement in the medical field and the increased number of people in need of medical treatments.

Becoming a medical assistant is very easy for it only requires a high school diploma or a GED equivalent and there is no formal education or training requirements needed unlike other career such as nursing. Aspiring MA must only undergo programs which will only take six months to two years to complete.

Program courses include medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology. Students are also taught to have the knowledge on keyboarding, recordkeeping, accounting, insurance processing and transcription. Moreover, students learn some laboratory techniques, pharmaceutical principles, clinical procedures as well as diagnostic procedures.

Program courses are specifically designed to give them a broad perspective in medical field to help them perform their task efficiently and effectively. This is because their nature of work is to perform or to keep medical establishments organized and to keep it running smoothly. Moreover, since they will always interact in almost all people in the hospitals even with the patients, their program courses also include patient relations, ethics and medical laws.

Medical assistant is different from a physician assistant or a nurse. Physician assistants perform medicine or treat patients with the supervision of doctors while MAs are to perform both clinical and clerical tasks.

Generally a medical assistant handles administrative duties and or clinical duties.

1. Administrative Duties and Responsibilities

– Answering telephone calls
– Greet and assist patients
– Appointment scheduling
– Do patient's billing
– Bookkeeping
– Handling correspondence
– Filing and updating patient's medical records
– Handles insurance forms
– Arranging hospital admissions
– Assisting in laboratory services

2. Clinical Duties and Responsibilities
– Taking patient's medical history
– Recording patient's vital signs
– Preparing patients for medical examinations
– Assisting doctors during medical examinations
– Explaining to patients the procedures
– Collects and prepares the laboratory specimens
– Purchasing medical supplies and equipment
– Disposing of contaminated medical supplies
– Preparing medical instruments
– Making sure that hospital rooms such as waiting rooms and examination rooms are clean and tidy

In some hospitals medical assistants are allowed, under the supervision of doctors to perform basic medical tasks such as:
– Basic laboratory tests
– Prepare medicines and administrator medications
– Instructing patients in taking medications and some diets
– Drug refills
– Draw blood
– Changing of dressings
– Removing sutures

With these large scope of duties and responsibilities, medical assistants should be well-organized and can do multi-tasking at the same time. They must also have pleasant personality and must be good communicators for they must make the patients feel comfortable and at ease before and or during examination. Moreover, they must be neat and well groomed for they should look presentable when dealing with patients.

Duties and responsibilities of medical assistants vary depending on the hospitals they work. In small hospitals or clinics that are to perform both administrative and clinical duties while in large hospitals where there are other medical staff, they are encouraged to perform specific tasks under the supervision of the department administrators.

Regardless where medical assistants work, they are very useful in helping other healthcare workers to perform their jobs more effectively and efficiently. As a result, the increased needs of people's medical attention are met through them.

Citibank’s Transformation of Traditional Money Management Into E-Business

Citibank’s strategic intent is to convert its traditional money management business into an e-business framework. How does Citibank transform its traditional assets into digital assets? What issues, if any, do you envision that Citibank must overcome in order for the implementation to be successful?

According to Porter two main ways for a company to compete are on cost advantage or on differentiation. Citibank chose not to compete on price, but instead chose to compete on differentiation.

Since many other companies have similar products and services, Citibank bases its differentiation on customer service. Traditionally, this involved “offering telephone hotlines, relationship managers who understood clients’ needs, product consultants who provided service expertise and most important, continuous investment in technology to support both the front-end and the back-end electronic banking systems”. In order for “successful” transformation of traditional assets into digital assets the company must maintain or enhance its differentiation. Since the company’s differentiation is based on customer service, that means that in the transformation from traditional to digital assets the company must continue to be highly responsive to the customers’ current and future needs, and must do so to a higher level than the competition.

One main way that Citibank achieved transition from traditional to digital was via alliances with such technological companies as Oracle, Commerce One Inc, SAP AG, Wisdom Technologies and Bolero.net. Earlier the company invested millions of dollars on its own in multiple areas of e-business, and failed. Technology is not Citibank’s area of expertise, and it found dealing with constantly changing technology to be an expensive struggle, which it ultimately lost. However, by 2000 Citibank had changed its strategy to one of garnering alliances and using its partners’ strengths to create the technological infrastructure that the company needed to access markets and meet its customers changing demands. Working through alliances reduced Citibank’s risks and costs, increased its effectiveness, and allowed it to remain flexible in meeting changing technological and customer demands.

Customer demands varies, both in the short term and long term. According to McCauley and Kahn, one of the most important obstacles for Citibank to overcome in migrating customers from traditional to digital service was meeting their deep seated concerns about security. While to some degree this hindered Citibank’s efforts in rolling out Web-based applications, Citi did actively implement “multi-layered security architecture… public and private access keys, single-use passwords and multiple authorization controls” in order to meet customer needs (2002, p. 9). In addition, with digital processing it looked to transform repeatable processes that could be “commoditized” into an efficient digital factory. Commoditizing repeatable processes improves efficiency, but also allows resources for additional regional focus — localization. So too, Citibank’s strong brand name is a resource that translates into increased trust as a “trusted provider” when competing with Deutche Bank and other competitors. In fact, most Fortune 500 companies assign value to Citibank’s specific offerings, and prefer it to other international payment providers. Citibank, then, offers multiple areas of value to customers.

The key question, however, is whether this value translates into a competitive advantage which translates into additional profits. Though Citibank met their customers’ needs in the area of information technology, how unique is what it offered? Cutting edge technological capabilities can soon become “hygiene factors”, which are considered to be required, rather than a competitive advantage. These then, do not qualify for differentiation or competitive advantage. While at one point Citibank may have offered cutting edge technological capabilities, the competitive advantages these afford can quickly be eroded. Customer service and transactional efficiency are important. However we need to ask what other areas of business require attention in order for Citibank’s ultimate success. If these are not met, the corporation will not meet its growth goals.

Payroll System and Its Importance in an Organization

Payroll is a very vital department in any organization. This is a department which will highly affect the net income of the organization. One needs to concentrate on the payroll calculation. There are various factors of tax deduction involved in it. One needs to be extra careful while calculating the taxes and ESIS and EPF. You may consider going for applying software for doing the service. There is software available on the internet that can give an end to end solution for your problem related to payroll.

The software, once set with the charges and calculations, can produce the Payroll in seconds for each employee. The software is to assist you with the job since it needs to be programmed with the systems of your organizations. Using software is also cost worthy as you need to pay a single time for the installation and then need not pay on a regular basis for accountants. Someone with simple knowledge of a computer will be able to operate this system. Before buying any of the software, try to check out the software feed back with the existing clients and make online surveys of a number of software available to see which one is for your system.

Payroll can be managed with an employing outsource company to produce the payment and pay slips for your organization. These companies are easily available on the internet. They offer you with end to end solution for your Payroll related problem. These companies are like the supporting hand in which once the details is given your need not to interfere and be present to make it work. You will see the pay slips being generated every time, flawlessly. Make sure to get in contract with a company which has more details than only an email id. Go for contacting a company which will help you in maintaining taxes also, and make sure they do not have any hidden charges involved.

Disability Retirement For Federal Workers – The Importance of a Coherent and Consistent Application

Federal and Postal employees either fall into one of two possible retirement systems: FERS (an acronym for Federal Employee Retirement System) or CSRS (Civil Service Retirement System). Whichever system the Federal or Postal employee falls under, the benefit of Federal Disability Retirement is an option which is available, in the event that a Federal Government worker is no longer able to perform at least one of the essential elements of one’s job. Remember that, in order to qualify for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, the medical condition or injury does not have to be job-related. Indeed, one could have incurred a career-ending spinal injury while on a skiing trip, and still qualify for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under either FERS or CSRS.

The Agency which determines that a Federal or Postal Employee is entitled to Federal Disability Retirement benefits is the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). They are empowered by statutory authority to scrutinize each application for approval or disapproval. In order to be eligible for the benefit of Federal Disability Retirement, one must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, three basic components:

(A) a Federal or Postal employee under FERS or CSRS has a medical condition;

(B) the medical condition prevents him or her from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job; and

(C) that the Agency is unable to accommodate the individual or, alternatively, to reassign the individual to a position in the same pay or grade.

In order to successfully prepare and submit an application for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, two overarching elements should always be kept in mind: Coherence and Consistency. “Coherence” has to do with the form of the application, while “consistency” has to do with the content, or substance of the application. Both elements are important in preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application. Thus, an effective Federal Disability Retirement application will make logical sense and “fit together” with everything (coherence), as well as have an internal structure of information which agrees with one another (consistency).

How does one prove that he or she is eligible for Federal Disability Retirement benefits? Is there a table or schedule of accepted medical conditions? As to the latter question, the general answer is “No”. Qualifying medical conditions have more to do with the symptoms of a medical condition, rather than the formal diagnosis. Thus, physical conditions can range from Cervical & Lumbar diseases, Degenerative Disc Disease, Spondylolisthesis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Failed Back Syndrome, Chronic Pain; Fibromyalgia; to total hip replacements which limit and restrict flexion and mobility; cardiac issues; migraine headaches; Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; Chemical Sensitivity issues; Asthma; Hypothyroidism; Plantar Fasciitis; Carpal Tunnel Syndrome; shoulder problems, often referred to as bursitis or shoulder impingement syndrome; trochanteric bursitis; lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, as well as a great many other conditions which are not named here, and which are too numerous to catalogue. As for Psychiatric conditions, the list can be just as long: Major Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Bipolar Disorder, Agoraphobia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, ADD & ADHD; Paranoia; Schizophrenia; Asperger’s Syndrome; and multiple other psychiatric conditions. Whether attempting to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits based upon a physical medical condition or a psychiatric medical condition, it is important to prove that one is eligible for the benefit.

Which brings us to the first question: How does one prove that he or she is eligible for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, either under FERS or CSRS? In any application for Federal or Postal Disability Retirement benefits, one must make sure that the application is both coherent, as well as consistent. Coherence of an application results when all of the various components of the application “fit” together. Thus, for example, in preparing the Applicant’s Statement of Disability (SF 3112A), Block 4 asks the applicant to “Fully Describe Your Disease or Injury”. If the disease or injury is a physical one, then the focus of the narrative should be to describe the pain, the physical restrictions and limitations, etc. Then, when one comes to Block 5, where it asks how your disease or injury interferes with the performance of “your duties, your attendance, or your conduct,” the focus should have a coherence with the previous answer – meaning that, if the narrative described physical issues, the impact upon one’s job should therefore focus upon the physical aspect of the job. Thus, by way of example, to say that you “cannot concentrate or focus” upon a certain aspect of the job, would only be coherent if either (A) the job required cognitive-intensive work and the severity of the pain impacted one’s cognitive faculties, or (B) the medications prescribed to alleviate the physical condition impacts one’s focus or concentration. Conversely, if the narrative concerning one’s medical condition entails primarily psychiatric issues, then the impact upon one’s job should encapsulate cognitive issues (i.e., focus, concentration, ability to analyze, evaluate, etc.). As you can see, coherence in an application for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is an important component.

Furthermore, an effective application for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS should be consistent. Each element of the application should “agree”, wherever possible, with all of the other components. Where inconsistencies occur – for example, between what the treating doctor says and what the applicant states in his or her explanation on SF 3112A – a red flag may arise, providing an opportunity for a denial from the Office of Personnel Management. Thus, don’t try to “oversell” the description of the medical condition. Remember how, when you were deathly ill but your voice sounded perfectly normal over the telephone? You had to call in sick, and you had to “sound like” you were sick, even though you were in fact deathly ill. In preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application, this is not the time to “sound like” something more than what the treating doctor states.

Ultimately, the success or failure of a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS as submitted to the Office of Personnel Management will depend upon the coherence and consistency of the application. Preparation is the key to success, and it is important to always remember that coherence and consistency are two elements which must always guide the formulation, preparation and submission of a successful Federal Disability Retirement application.