AMA Module Promotes Training of Medical Assistants

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AMA Module Promotes Training of Medical Assistants
AMA Module Promotes Training of Medical Assistants

THURSDAY, June 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A new training module can improve training for medical assistants (MAs), according to a report from the American Medical Association (AMA).

A new module in the AMA's STEPS Forward collection of practice improvement strategies can help further the training of MAs, resulting in better patient care. The module was contributed by Vanguard Medical Group in New Jersey, which found that there were varied levels of performance among MA staff, making the implementation of new work flows more difficult and time consuming.

Variation in MA performance mainly resulted from differences in prior education and experience; lack of opportunity for accessing professional development; and non-formalized communication about performance expectations. There was a clear need for MA training. Nurse care coordinators led the training initiative, with a monthly MA training session in a modular format. Modules were delivered in a "lunch and learn" format and included warm-up exercises, short electronic surveys, interactive presentations, and peer instruction. Quantitative data were not collected on the program, and testing was eliminated. The success of the program was tracked using qualitative data, and initial feedback has been positive.

"The MA professional development module is one of eight new modules recently added to the AMA's STEPS Forward collection of practice improvement strategies to help physicians make transformative changes to their practices," according to the report.

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