Fourth Week

During Week 4, I shadowed various personnel in the rheumatology medical clinic to understand how each person’s job is an important component in delivering healthcare to patients. When a patient enters the clinic, they first meet with one of the the front desk receptionists who greet and welcomes them to the practice, The patients are registered in the practice management system and entered in the electronic health records. They also answer phone calls and make appointments for the practice. The medical assistant rooms the patients. They begin by weighing and measuring the height of the patients and calculate their BMI (body mass index). They check their vital signs and ask specific medical questions and record the areas on their body where they feel pain. They also record the medications the patient takes. In the back office, triage personnel answer the phones triaging problems of patients and then forwarding them to the appropriate physician. The referral clerk schedules any tests or investigations needed for the patient and looks at the patient’s insurance to determine when and where the tests can take place. The phlebotomist draws the patient’s blood for laboratories. The physician sees the patient and determines their treatment. For the rheumatology clinic, it could be a procedure, medication changes, or injections and infusions. The biller files claims, determines the amount to bill patients based on their insurance, and takes the co-payments. Before the patient leaves, they visit the checkout desk to schedule future appointments. The office manager performs all of the human resource functions for the practice and the day-to-day running of the office.

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