Table 1.

Changes in Medical Assistant Tasks Implemented during PCMH Demonstration Project

Before PCMH Project (Facilitation of patient flow through office)After PCMH Project Implementation (Patient care/population management)
Call and escort patients to examination roomObtain family and social histories, reconcile medications and chronic problems lists, document cancer screenings
Take and record vital signs and chief complaint
Give injections, draw blood, perform EKGs or other procedures per physician order during patient visitPre-visit planning (chart reviews, huddles)
Carry out standing orders and protocols (give immunizations, provide mammogram orders/lab forms, refill routine medications)
Give out patient education handouts per physician request during patient visitProactively hand out patient education materials (eg, smoking cessation)
Conduct patient education using motivational interviewing (eg, weight, diabetes)
Organize/conduct patient awareness campaigns to address preventive care, eg, through telephone calls, wearing buttons on shirts, mailings
Call for results as per physician request during patient visitGather documentation of preventive services, other metrics, consultations, and hospitalization reports prior to patient visit
Give reports that come into office to physiciansTrack, manage and enter data into electronic medical record/other data management tools
File chartsAssist with risk stratification of patients
  • EKG, electrocardiography; PCMH, patient-centered medical home.