Preserving a Tradition of Care
New Medical Assistant Training Program Teaches Healthcare from the Heart
Roland Lucas, Jr. grew up watching his father, Roland DuBois Lucas, MD, care for his patients in the private practice he managed out of his Germantown home.
“My father was the classic neighborhood physician in a time when family practice physicians had offices in their homes, made house calls and were on call 24/7,” recalls Roland Lucas, Jr. “In today’s healthcare environment, that model is no longer practical. However, the personal relationships physicians and their office staff developed with their patients during that era are still relevant today.
”It was a simpler time, when physicians knew a patient’s background and understood, from a holistic perspective, the family history contributing to the overall health of a patient. Lucas also remembers, “Physicians had more time to devote to each individual patient and clearly understand the history of their problem and adjust to their needs.”
The days of the neighborhood physician may be long past, but not past is the opportunity for healthcare providers to engage with their patients and help them become active participants in their own care.
Medical assistants are helping provide opportunities for staff with the physician practices of Einstein Healthcare Network to nurture relationships with patients and help put them at ease.
Many times, the medical assistant is the first contact a patient has with the office medical staff. These professionals need to be skilled to handle clinical and administrative responsibilities within the office setting, but most importantly, they need to help patients feel at ease. Enter Mr. Lucas and his desire to create a legacy in his father’s name and support Einstein Philadelphia, the place where his mother, Pauline, was cared for after a stroke. “The staff at Einstein tried very hard to save my mother’s life and was right by our side during the time she was in hospice care,” he explains. “During that time we felt personally cared for, just the waymy father used to care for his patients. I wanted to do something to express my gratitude and help at the same time.”
From this desire grew the Roland DuBois Lucas, MD Medical Assistant Clinical Training Program. Designed to provide medical assistants with on-going professional development, the program allows those already certified and practicing the opportunity to brush up on skills and techniques while also providing supports necessary to care for patients with confidence.
As Kimberly Luby, CRNP, Clinical Administrator for Einstein Physicians Philadelphia Primary Care, explains, “Medical assistants really serve as a bridge between patient and provider.
They are responsible for taking care of necessary paperwork and clinical needs when a patient comes in for a visit. It is essential they are well-trained to ensure proper technique, but also working to make sure all necessary information is recorded and passed on to their primary care provider.”From collecting vital signs and histories, proposing prescription refills, to collecting and preparing laboratory specimens and performing basic laboratory tests, a medical assistant is key to improving office efficiency and helping to ensure a positive patient experience. By working with each patient to help collect a comprehensive medical history, providers can spend more time with their patients helping to understand current needs and providing treatment.
“Medical assistants spend a significant amount of time with patients in the office setting. They need to be trained not only as clinicians, but as customer service representatives as well,” comments Luby. “This new clinical training program gives them the tools they need to feel secure as they deliver various patient care services such as blood draws, EKG’s, injections and blood pressure evaluations. The training will help to ensure the care they provide is standardized and safe.”
With Mr. Lucas’ generous support, Einstein’s Medical Assistant Clinical Training Program has a new home in a refurbished physician office to simulate a real working environment. New training equipment and dedicated instructors offer hands-on training.
“Mr. Lucas has made an investment in our staff which will have an immediate and lasting impact on patient care,” says Luby. “He has been so critical in making this program a reality. We are so grateful for his generous support and thank him for joining us in recognizing how important the work of the medical assistant is to patients and our primary care providers.”
“I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Einstein to help create a program to expand teaching and care delivery,” explains Lucas.
“I feel very good about the program as it aligns with my father’s philosophy of identifying and caring for the needs of the person, not just the patient.
He would be so pleased to see a new generation of well-trained professionals who not only care for medical needs, but address emotional needs as well.”