Lesson 1: Perform administrative tasks using a computer

When working in the administration field in a medical setting you will be required to access a lot of personal and highly confidential data via a computer system.

There are many different programs out there which are designed to hold vast amounts of information. In the medical field they generally use programs which have been designed specifically to meet the needs of this industry, meaning they will normally be online with organisations like Medicare, and from an accounting point of view they will have all the details of rebates and entitlements patients will receive built into their system for ease of processing as well as acting as a database which you can use to access various reports on certain patient demographics and a letter writer feature which automatically creates preformatted referral letters where the doctor then only has to add information relevant to the patient the letter is for.

There are assortments of programs out there that have been developed for the medical field. Programs such as RX Medical, Blue Chip, Genie, E Claims, Medical Spectrum and Pracsoft just to name a few. These programs are all very similar in their operation and once you know one program it is very easy to learn another. Pracsoft though is the most commonly used medical program Australia wide. This is why we will be using this program to help demonstrate how various duties required to be done by a medical administration worker are carried out. Another common medical program that is used is Medical Director, this is a clinical program which holds all a patients confidential records such as doctor notes, test results, x-ray results etc. It also has a drug database attached to it that lists all available prescription medication that a doctor can prescribe for a particular condition and it will record the medication issued and the dosage amount onto the patients file. As you work in the administration field you will have limited access to this program and if you do have access it will only be to certain areas of the program like entering a patient recall notice or scanning in test results etc and this is due to the nature of the information stored in this system. It is highly sensitive and confidential.

These duties can range from editing patient records, to entering new patients into the system, making appointments, creating accounts and receipts.

One of the most important things to remember when working within the medical field is that you follow all relevant policies and procedures that are required within the medical setting that you work, this will also include making sure you are working within legislative and privacy policy guidelines. These guidelines are based on the 10 National Privacy Principles which are part of the privacy act. These 10 National Privacy Principles set the minimum standard required for privacy in the health care setting. The 10 NPP’s are as follows:
NPP 1 & NPP 10 – Collection & Sensitive Information
NPP2 – Use and Disclosure
NPP3 & NPP 4 – Data Quality & Data Security
NPP5 – Openness
NPP6 – Access & Correction
NPP7 – Identifiers
NPP 8 – Anonymity
NPP9 – Transborder data flows

If you are ever unsure of what is required of you, you should either approach your Practice manager or supervisor,alternatively the information will be found in the policy and procedure manual.

If the area you work in is not using a medical software program other programs that may be used could be;
• MYOB (this is an accounting package that you would use to do all your accounts on)
• Microsoft Excel (this is the most common spreadsheet system used. This can be used to create reports on patient demographics, checklists on stock & equipment movement etc)
• Microsoft Word (the most commonly used program worldwide to create letters, reports etc)
• Microsoft Access (one of the most common database programs used)
No matter if you are working in a computerised or paper based office there will always be an element of filing that needs to be carried out or you will be required to retrieve patient files, you therefore need to ensure that all files are coded and filed correctly. There are various different methods of filing, these being alphabetical, numerical or terminal digit filing. All require you to be accurate in your creation eg, spelling of names, writing of numbers and your filing to be correct. All files need to be clearly identifiable and easy to find.