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Career Profile: Medical Assistant - Jill Vroegindewey, CMA

Career Profile: Medical Assistant - Jill Vroegindewey, CMA

How do you tap into your CMA training on the job?

Knowing both administrative and clinical aspects has become very important in healthcare management. For instance, malpractice companies are seeking credentialed personnel. When you are working with insurance billing, understanding diagnostic coding and terminology is critical. We can’t market to people who can’t come to our hospital, so I work with insurers all the time to understand what we have to do to work within their system to help their insured get our tests covered.

The psychology aspects of a CMA background are also important, as you are always striving to produce exceptional patient care. It helps you understand situations you find yourself in with the referrals. Sometimes a patient feels they’ve had a horrible experience, and it’s important to remember that their perception is their reality. It’s your job to find out how you can turn the experience into an opportunity to improve patient care for all patients.

More on Medical Assisting

Salary: $18,860 - $36,840
Min. Education: Associate's
Related Careers: Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse, Registered Nurse

What do you enjoy most about your career? Your current position?

I treasure the relationships I have been able to create with my referring providers, constantly searching to tools to give them to better care for our mutual patient. Being employed by the hospital, having the availability to tap into their resources, has been great for us.

Now we’re film-less, with access to images over the internet or produced on a CD. Even the most “Podunk” office is now getting internet. In radiology, we sell one product, it’s a report. All our lab results and radiology reports are now available through the internet as soon as they are transcribed. The turnaround time on that report is the most critical thing we do so, because it allows referrers to diagnose their patients. Whatever we can do to cut that reporting time is great thing. It’s been really satisfying.

Another aspect I enjoy is improving our access to providers. While we previously had limited the access to providers that were credentialed with our hospital, we’ve determined it is good patient care to open access to our reporting to other practices such as podiatrists, chiropractors, as well as interfacing with the other hospitals. It’s all about patient care; it’s the reason we’re here.

What are the rewards and challenges in your current position?

One of the best things I’ve done over the 30 years is develop strong relationships with all different types of people in the medical offices, across state lines even. Networking is a great thing, in several cases I’ve been able to draw on my contacts to save valuable research time searching for new vendors or system upgrades.

One challenge is customer service. The thing to know is that if there is an issue, follow the 3-A rule: acknowledge, apologize and amend.

What ranks among the favorite projects that you’ve completed in your career and why?

The transition from punch card records to microfiche to computers for billing information. Today, film-less imaging is very exciting. If a patient needs their images to take to another provider we can produce them on a CD or in many cases are able to give the provider access to the images through our internet based reporting tools. I helped develop the radiology web site, as well as numerous brochures on diagnostic imaging.

What has been your personal key to success?

I love meeting new people in the field, and helping them to help their patients. If I can get them to mention what their biggest pet peeves are, and I can solve their problems, that makes me feel so good.

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