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Your Real-Life Superheroes are Virtual Assistants

Mohseni, Alex, MD

doi: 10.1097/01.EEM.0000554850.33659.77
Doc ApprovED

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Forget the Avengers and DC superheroes, the real heroes of your life lie hidden in the most unexpected place—online. That's right, the lifesaver you've been looking for is right behind your computer screen.

Recently, I've begun working with a virtual assistant (VA) through Time etc (http://bit.ly/2DVu9ud), and it's revolutionized the way I manage my life and work. Gone are the days of filling out endless pages of paperwork, tracking down people or reports, and researching information. All of those tasks can be turned over to someone else and taken off my plate.

Most ED groups have realized that the value of scribes is being able to reassign low-level tasks and reduce the physician's cognitive load so he can focus on higher-level tasks. The same applies to home life and nonclinical work.

I was hesitant to use a VA at first because I am exceedingly particular about how everything needs to be done and I could not imagine what I would even feel comfortable delegating. Realizing that the status quo was unacceptable, however, I decided to try it out. After meeting my VA and assigning some initial work, I quickly learned that every task is an opportunity for the VA to learn more about me and my work and that it builds confidence in doing even more complicated tasks in the future. My VA, Erin, blew me away by how quickly she figured things out. I didn't have to spend hours explaining every detail; she knew when to ping me for clarification. By the fourth week, I was worried I was sending too many tasks to my VA.

The first-tier plan costs $250 for 10 hours a month, and the price per hour is discounted the more hours you use. You pay by the second, and only when your VA is working on a task. Unused hours for monthly plans also roll over for 60 days.

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Dr. Mohseniis an emergency physician, telemedicine provider with CirrusMD, and the editor of his own blog, http://CreativeHealthLabs.com. Follow him on Twitter @amohseni, and read his past EMN columns athttp://bit.ly/EMN-DocAPProvED.

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