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Virtual Administrative Assistant – Part 2

Virtual Administrative Assistant – Part 2

Welcome two Part II of Virtual Administrative Assistant 101! You will see me refer to them as virtual assistants or VA/s. This is an individual that will remotely support your office with a wide variety of tasks and make the lives of all your team members so much easier!

After years of working with virtual assistants, and being one, I want to share some ways to make the transition into having a virtual assistant, and the ways to maximize the benefits.

Prepping your team: At this point your administrative team members may have already expressed sentiments that they need help with their duties or you know they don’t have enough time to do everything. Before you take the plunge on remote assistance, have a candid meeting with team members about what their needs and their thoughts are. You will essentially be adding a team member to your office!

If you are presented with defensiveness and a complete resistance, this is a read flag. Get to the bottom of it. Ask about any apprehension and address the issues up front!

Hardware: I highly recommend that you get a separate workstation for the VA. Having someone remote into the server will not only drive your IT person crazy, it is very risky. This is a cost that is well worth the amount and you will be pleasantly surprised at how inexpensive they are now.

Software: Depending on the specific duties of the VA, you will need the following:

  1. Practice Management Software: Make sure it’s on the designated workstation.
  2. Printer: The VA will need the ability to print to a printer in the office. If a claim needs to be mailed, it can be printed by the VA for the office to mail.
  3. Imaging software: If your VA is going to be submitting claims and appeals for you, make sure there is access to the images, especially if there is a separate program not linked to your practice management software.
  4. Claim submission and electronic attachment software: Also needs to be on workstation if submitting claims.
  5. Secure email service: You should already have this, but if you don’t, now is the time. Brightsquid, Neo certified and even NEA has a service and they generally run less than $200 per year.
  6. IT Services: Given the above points, it’s important to have good IT services and keep them in the loop with what is going on. Make sure your VA has their information as well. Also verify you are on a contract with the IT service or if you pay per interaction.

Communication: This is the most important part! Be a part of regular meetings, ask questions, look at the reports your VA send you at the end of the week or month. Ask for feedback, they may see something you don’t. Don’t “set it and forget it”.

Also schedule and attend regular phone meetings with the VA company. The doctor should be on this call as well as management. Regular meetings are so important. You wouldn’t miss a team meeting and a VA is part of your team.

Like I’ve mentioned before, virtual assisting can be a huge asset to your practice. Ask for references and research a company if you are apprehensive. But if you know you have the need, don’t wait any longer, accounts receivables don’t go down by themselves. It is an ongoing process that needs attention and if you don’t have the manpower, this is your best option!

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