As a health sciences educator, you know how important it is to align your program with the latest industry trends and developments. By keeping up with industry advancements, you can provide the most relevant and up-to-date information to best prepare your students for their future as medical assistants.
But staying current on trends doesn't just help your students. Understanding developments in your field enables you to anticipate changes to your Medical Assistant curriculum with as much advanced notice as possible. Since industry trends are integral to our work at NHA, we thought we'd save you a little time by sharing our research with you.
Here are four trends related to the medical assistant (MA) profession from the 2023 NHA Industry Outlook.
Trend 1: The Demand for Certification is Rising
In the latest edition of the Industry Outlook, 69% of MA employers reported that they screen for applicants with industry-recognized certification. The demand for industry-recognized certification is up from 62% in the previous edition, indicating that the need for certified MAs continues to grow.
As the demand for certified MAs increases, so will the demand for MA instructors. Instructors who are able to teach the skills and knowledge that employers are looking for will be in high demand.
See more screening criteria when you download the MA trends report below.
As an educator, you hold the key to shaping healthcare's future. By training skilled and caring MAs, you play a vital role in strengthening the healthcare workforce, improving communities and fostering a brighter future for healthcare.
The increasing demand for certified MAs presents an opportunity for educators who aspire to make a meaningful impact. By adhering to the latest trends and forging partnerships with healthcare organizations for practical training, you can contribute to a robust healthcare workforce and healthier communities.
Trend 2: The MA Scope of Practice is Expanding
According to this year's Industry Outlook, employers in the healthcare industry are actively seeking highly qualified MA candidates. This is likely in response to technological advancements, the rising demands of patients and the growing shortage of healthcare providers.
Here are the top two advanced skills that MA employers are currently prioritizing:
Phone screening/triage - 61%:
Employers are specifically looking for MAs who can conduct phone screenings and triage patients effectively. This skill is crucial for efficiently managing patient inquiries and determining the urgency of their medical needs.
Medical scribing - 54%:
Employers are also seeking MAs with proficiency in medical scribing. This involves accurately documenting patient encounters, medical histories, and treatment plans in electronic health records (EHRs), ensuring comprehensive and organized patient records.
Shape the future of healthcare education by incorporating these in-demand skills into your Medical Assistant curriculum. The expanding scope of practice for MAs offers an incredible opportunity.
Prepare your students to meet these evolving needs by empowering them with phone screening/triage and medical scribing skills. They will efficiently manage inquiries, determine medical urgency, and accurately document patient encounters in electronic health records.
Stay ahead of the curve and cultivate a sought-after workforce that revolutionizes healthcare delivery. It's a win-win situation for you and your students.
Trend 3: Patient-Centered Care Is Gaining Popularity
Patient-centered care is gaining popularity due to its ability to improve health outcomes, empower patients and enhance patient satisfaction. In this model, here are two advanced skills that healthcare employers are increasingly considering MAs responsible for.
Advanced Skills in Patient-Centered Care
Health Coaching- 31%
As an educator, you can empower aspiring MAs to make a difference by highlighting the value of advanced skills like health coaching and translating. Show them the importance of these skills in patient-centered care and inspire them to develop these competencies.
Doing so enables your students to have a meaningful impact on providing patient-centered care and fulfilling their desire to help others. Seize the opportunity to guide and motivate them toward acquiring these valuable skills.
Trend 4: Career Laddering Programs Leveling Off
According to our recent editions of the Industry Outlook, employer-offered career laddering programs for MAs have leveled at roughly 50%. These programs typically involve steps that MAs can progress through, each with new responsibilities and opportunities.
Employers don't always offer career laddering programs. Equip your students with professional skills like personability, teamwork, and leadership, regardless. These skills are valuable, with or without career growth programs.
The medical assisting profession is constantly evolving. To ensure your program's success and the success of your students, you must stay up-to-date with the latest trends. By aligning your program with these trends, you can provide your students with the skills they need to succeed, which will ultimately help you succeed as well.
Here are three practical ways to align your program to industry trends:
- Incorporate in-demand skills like phone screening/triage and medical scribing.
- Promote advanced skills in patient-centered care like translating and health coaching.
- Equip students with essential professional skills like personability, teamwork, and leadership.
By adapting your program to these trends, you have the opportunity to contribute to a stronger healthcare workforce and a brighter future for healthcare as a whole.
This is your chance to make an even bigger impact! Download to read more MA industry trends.