Patient Service Associate Job Scope
Patient Service Associate Job Scope - A patient service associate’s main role is to provide frontline service for the patients and the visiting family. It includes greeting them when a new patient comes to the hospital or clinic then assisting them throughout the administration process from the start to finish. Lastly that shouldn’t be forgotten, they also handle payment collection to ensure the accurate billing information is submitted and meet the required standards.
They are the first person every patient or the family will approach when they visit the hospital or clinic. Since they can be found first behind the front desk, you probably think this job is the same as a receptionist. While general people would see that way, they’re not similar. A receptionist only works behind the desk. However, a patient service associate will also assist the patients with the whole process.
Want to know more about patient service associate’s job scopes? Read below.
According to MySkillsFuture Singapore, a patient service associate has several tasks categorized by their four critical work functions.
1. Provide Frontline Services
The first critical work function focuses on everything a patient service associate does when a new patient comes to the front desk. Here is a list of tasks that should be done as a patient service associate.
- Liaise with patients and other stakeholders to provide services to patients
- Schedule appointments for patients
- Perform patient registration and discharge
- Perform payment collection procedures
- Provide financial counselling to patients
- Manage patients’ feedback and enquiries
- Perform service recovery
- Promote use of automated or self-help services
- Identify situations where patients require additional attention
2. Provide Clinical Support
The second function focuses on the next step after the first critical work function is done. In this function, a patient service associate provides important information regarding what the new patient needs. It means their job isn’t limited to the first function, they still have more tasks to do. The second one determines what the patient needs to do and where to go next. As a patient service associate, you’ll be required to stay and assist them later. This is where you know you are a patient service associate. Here are list of tasks that should be done as a patient service associate.
- Prepare consultation rooms
- Provide patient and caregiver education when necessary
- Perform measurement of basic health parameters
- Prepare patients for physical examination or minor procedures to be performed by doctors
- Provide post-consultation instructions where necessary
- Perform basic clinical procedures
- Assist doctors during the treatment and examination of patients
- Prepare patients’ records and documentation pre- and post- consultation and procedures
3. Perform Department Operations
The third function focuses on patient service associates’ role in the department. If the first and second function focus on their role to the patients, the third function is their role and responsibility to their workplace. Here is a list of tasks that should be done as a patient service associate.
- Perform bed bookings
- Assist in reporting or analyzing of department or clinic’s statistics and data
- Monitor inventories of non-clinical items
- Reconcile daily monetary transactions
- Conduct training for staff
4. Perform Risk and Quality Management
The last function focuses on the possibility of patient service associates dealing with emergency situations. These tasks are important to be stated because people working in the health sector are prone to deal with emergency situations on a daily basis. Here is a list of tasks that should be done as a patient service associate.
- Participate in quality improvement initiatives and projects
- Participate in the execution of designated emergency response tasks
According to MySkillsFuture Singapore as well, there are generic and technical skills that must be acquired to be a patient service associate. These skills and qualities are
1. Generic Skills for Patient Service Associate
The generic skills mean qualities that can be applied for a variety of jobs or also known as essential skills. To be a patient service associate, you must be aware that this job requires you to interact with people, patients to be specific. Similar to other jobs in service sectors, you need to have the ability to possess great service to the clients. It's important to note these qualities so you can meet this job’s requirements.
- Service orientation
- Interpersonal skills
- Problem solving
2. Technical Skills
After generic skills, you will also need to acquire the technical skills so you actually can perform your service the proper way. Here are the technical skills you need to acquire to be a patient service associate.
- Billing procedures
- Change management
- Clinical support for patient service associates
- Continuous improvement management
- Data and statistical analytics
- Emergency response and crisis management
- Excellence in service
- Frontline services management
- Infection control
- Management of stakeholders
- Patient education and engagement
- Professional, legal, and ethical healthcare practice
- Programme delivery
- Workplace safety and health
The minimum qualification to work as a patient service associate is Polytechnic Diploma. You will have more advantages if you are a graduate from healthcare majors. You also tend to be prioritized if you have prior experience with the Students Assistance Program (SAP).
It’s because the recruiters see that you already have the basic skills and enough experience to work as a patient service associate. It means you are more likely to have less problems to start your career in this job and adapt to the environment as well.
However, if you have a diploma in majors not related to health sectors, you are also welcome. Apply to job vacancy for patient service associates that accept all majors. As a patient service associate’s job should be getting more common and popular, you don’t have to worry about the limited opportunities. Hospitals and clinics are eager to hire patient service associates to increase the patient’s service qualities.
Whether you are a healthcare graduate or not, they also prefer candidates who already have experience in fields related to this job. If you have experience in frontline customer service, they will consider you. It will be much better if you also have practical knowledge of hospital operation. So it’s better to state your professional experience related to the job in your resume if you already have experience.
The next qualification to be a patient service associate is to be proficient in operating Microsoft Office. The reason it’s also important is because you will be the one to input the patients’ data and information. You also need to input the updates on the patients’ data and information. It’s important that as a patient service associate to be able sustain the credibility of the patients’ data and information.
If you have good skills in operating Microsoft Office, the recruiters also see that you are detail oriented worker that can ensure your work is carried out well and smoothly. It’s also important to notice that your job is not only giving the best service to patients and interacting with them differently, there’s other tasks that you should carry out well.
Being fluent in one or more languages will also be beneficial, especially if you work in a multilingual environment. The recruiters will definitely consider you if you state this skill. Other than language, having the ability to speak in local dialects will be an advantage. It has something to do with the ability to communicate with the patients because the people that come to one hospital are usually people who live nearby.
The last common qualification is that you have to deal with shift work. You have to be fully aware that working in healthcare sectors, it means you also work in shift work because patients need to be cared for 24 hours and the best way to work this out is by applying shift work. Sometimes your shift is in the morning, sometimes it can be in the evening.
Now that you still have no experience in related fields and also not a healthcare graduate, there’s a hope. You can study the materials needed so you have a better chance to get hired. Even if you think you are starting from scratch. By following the steps that can make you meet the qualifications.
Patient service associates may work in various locations. There are several options such as private or public hospitals and community or primary care settings. Other than hospitals, it’s possible to work in the clinics.
This is also the job that is open for entry level candidates. If you are a fresh graduate, you can apply for this job. On-the-job training will also be available for new staff. So you don’t have to worry if your major isn’t in line with the health sector or have zero experience in this field.
If you are considering to level up your career in this field, you can apply for a senior patient service associate job vacancy. While you may already have the required skills, the other requirement that you should know is they usually prioritize candidates with 2-3 years of work experience in similar fields.
Finally, the health sector has remained one of the vital job in Singapore since the pandemic started. There’s high demand to hire people for this sector and it’s not limited to graduates in healthcare. Patient service associate is a job that is not widely known yet because the public correlates healthcare workers as healthcare graduates. The best thing about patient service associates is that it’s not limited to healthcare graduates. So if you are not a graduate majoring in healthcare, interested in working in the healthcare sector, this can be a great career choice.
If you’re ready to find a patient service associate job vacancy, you can find them here on Workspace.co.
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