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Implementation of a Training and Structured Skills Assessment Program for Medical Assistants in a Primary Care Setting

Hull, Tammie; Taylor, Patricia; Turo, Emily; Kramer, Joan; Crocetti, Susan; McGuire, Maura

The Journal for Healthcare Quality (JHQ): July-August 2013 - Volume 35 - Issue 4 - p 50–60
doi: 10.1111/jhq.12022
CE Article
Continuing Education

As part of ongoing efforts to improve quality of care through clinical education of our medical assisting staff, we developed a competency-based training and assessment program. At the time of program implementation, we assessed clinical skills of 111 certified medical assistants and found that 10% were unable to accurately measure blood pressure, 9% were unable to correctly perform an intradermal injection, and 48% were unable to correctly draw specified volumes into syringes. More than 10 years after program implementation, we continue to detect and remediate clinical skills in newly hired employees. This case study report describes the evolution of the program and assessment findings.

For more information on this article, contact Maura McGuire

Tammie Hull, MAS, RN, is the Assistant Director of Clinical Education and Nursing at Johns Hopkins Community Physicians in Baltimore, Maryland, and oversees education of clinical support staff. She completed a Patient Safety Fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Medicine Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality.

Patricia Taylor is the Staff Development and Training Coordinator at Johns Hopkins Community Physicians. Formally, she was Program Director and Professor for several Medical Assistant schools. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Biology, RMA (AMT) and is a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician at Damascus Volunteer Fire Department.

Emily Turo is currently a student at Barry University, in Miami Shores FL, studying for her Master in Clinical Medical Science and her Physician Assistant Certificate. She is a recent graduate of The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology.

Joan Kramer, RN, PhD, is Associate Professor of Nursing at Morgan State University. She was formerly the Staff Development Administrator in Johns Hopkins Community Physicians and was responsible for initial oversight of the Medical Assistant Training and Career Ladder program.

Susan Crocetti, BSN, RN, CPHQ, is currently a Senior Consultant at Qualis Health based in Seattle, Washington and working with physician office practices nationwide in patient-centered medical home transformation initiatives. Formerly, she was the Director of Performance Improvement & Risk Management at Johns Hopkins Community Physicians.

Maura McGuire, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Assistant Dean for Part-time Faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Director of Education for Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, both in Baltimore Maryland.

© 2013 National Association for Healthcare Quality
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