Medical administrative assistants (CMAAs) work directly with their patients every day and make a real difference in the quality of care their patients receive. These allied health professionals perform administrative tasks that help healthcare offices run smoothly, and play an important role in the patient experience as they are usually the patient’s first point of contact.

Here are some of the top skills employers seek to succeed as a medical administrative assistant.

 Ready to master the technical and job-ready knowledge that’s demanded in this important healthcare role? MA SkillsBuilder™: Admin can help develop key skills to handle front and back-office responsibilities.

7 Essential Medical Administrative Assistant Skills

  1. Attention to Detail

    In any medical setting, it’s essential to be detail-oriented. Medical administrative assistants record vital patient information, schedule appointments and update medical records — all tasks that must be done with precision and attention to detail.

  2. Ethical Integrity

    Medical administrative assistants must keep all personal health information confidential. Patient privacy is protected under HIPAA laws, and when patients disclose vulnerable information, they put trust in your integrity and ability to maintain confidentiality.

  3. Using Technology

    Medical administrative assistants use technology daily. Scheduling software, electronic health records (EHRs) and databases are all programs that medical administrative assistants need to be comfortable and confident using.

  4. Professionalism and Compassion

    Patients often interact with medical administrative assistants before anyone else. They may be sick, in pain or anxious. Medical administrative assistants play a huge role in the patient experience and must exhibit professionalism and compassion to help patients feel comfortable and at ease.

  5. Dependability

    When we asked healthcare employers what soft skills they looked for in medical administrative assistants, dependability was a top answer. Because medical administrative assistants typically greet the patient, it’s important that they are timely so that patients don’t come into the office to an empty desk! And as central members of the care team, employers need to count on medical administrative assistants to keep things running smoothly and efficiently.

  6. Verbal Communication

    Our survey also found verbal communication to be a top-needed soft skill for medical administrative assistants. In healthcare, strong communication skills are an absolute must — especially if you’re the patient’s first point of contact. Medical administrative assistants gather patient information, answer questions, address concerns, and overall help make patients feel comfortable, making strong verbal communication skills essential.

  7. Organization

    Medical administrative assistants often “wear many hats.” They may greet a patient, answer a phone call, update patient records and coordinate a time and attendance report — all within an hour. This requires a high level of organization to successfully accomplish a variety of tasks.

Preparing Medical Administrative Assistants for Success

Our 2021 Industry Outlook found that 42% of employers believe that medical administrative assistants have more responsibility compared to the year prior. There’s a need for medical administrative assistants to upskill to attain the job-ready knowledge employers need. That’s why we created MA SkillsBuilder™: Admin. This experiential training tool focuses on key skills medical administrative assistants need to use relevant and engaging content.

Learn more about this powerful learning experience for current or future medical administrative assistants at