Why Should You Join a Professional Association?

Professional association benefits for medical office staff

There are many benefits of joining a professional association. The best benefit is the sharing of information among medical and healthcare professionals. Joining a professional association is a step in the right direction for individuals interested in enhancing their knowledge base, advancing their career, or broadening their professional network.

Broaden Your Knowledge and Access Educational Opportunities

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Joining a professional association provides unlimited opportunities to broaden your knowledge about the health care industry. Professional associations can be a great resource of information from the leading industry experts and access to unique educational opportunities including conferences, seminars, webinars, online training, case studies, study guides, white papers, forums, and more. Many associations offer certification programs for specific occupations or areas of interest.

Career Advancement

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Medical office professionals can advance their career by being a part of a professional association. The knowledge gained through the different educational opportunities available can lead to promotions or other career-advancing opportunities. The healthcare industry if full of employment opportunities that require certification especially in the areas of billing, coding, health information technology, health information management, and more. Being a part of a professional association can also be a way of gaining an advantage by creating professional relationships with others in the industry.

Networking

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Professional associations sometimes offer several networking opportunities each year that allow members to create professional relationships. Most associations have local or state chapters in which members can join and actively participate with other members. Associations provide opportunities to mentor other professionals, for entry level professionals to find mentors, community service, and possibly grow leadership skills by joining the board of directors.

Benefits for Employers

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Employers can utilize professional associations as ​an opportunity to recruit the best medical office staff. As everyone knows, first impressions are lasting ones. The first impressions your customers receive about your medical practice are often from your office staff making them crucial to the success of your organization. It is helpful to know what skills are important for each position when hiring your medical office staff.

Customers of a medical office are not typical customers. They are patients that expect the highest quality of care and some may be in the midst of a medical crisis which requires delicate handling. Not only is it important for the staff to have certain professional skills and strengths, it is imperative that they understand that patient lives are reliant on the quality of their work. Whether you are replacing a current position or adding additional staff, there are certain criteria you need to look for in a candidate that vary by position. Individuals in professional associations are the perfect candidates because those that join are individuals that care about improving themselves.

Professional Associations for Medical Office Professionals

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Some of the most well-known professional associations for medical office professionals includes these. Explore each one further. 

For Healthcare Staff

ACHE: American College of Healthcare Executives
ACHE membership helps you excel professionally and advance excellence in healthcare management. To be eligible for membership, you must have at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. They offer board certification for the FACHE credential.

HFMA: Healthcare Financial Management Association
HFMA membership is open to anyone in the healthcare field. HFMA's purpose is to define, realize, and advance the financial management of health care by helping members and others improve the business performance of organizations operating in or serving the healthcare field. They have a certification program to become a Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP). You can be involved with local chapters, attend virtual conferences and webinars, and complete CPE credits.

HIMSS: Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
HIMSS is a cause-based, not-for-profit organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare. They provide a variety of peer-to-peer communities to share problems and solutions. Individuals can join to participate online, at local chapters, or both.

PAHCOM: Professional Association of Health Care Office Management
Membership in PAHCOM provides resources to medical office managers and practice administrators that improve efficiencies, compliance, and profitability for their practices.

NPSF: National Patient Safety Foundation
The National Patient Safety Foundation has been pursuing one mission since its founding in 1997—to improve the safety of care provided to patients. Membership is open to professionals in the patient safety field, patient advocates, and affiliate members. They offer a certification.

For Physicians

ABIM: American Board of Internal Medicine
Board certification in internal medicine ensures that a physician has met rigorous standards and passed the certification exam.  Physicians also complete maintenance of certification (MOC) programs to maintain certification.

AMA: American Medical Association
The American Medical Association (AMA) offers physicians exclusive resources, tools and timely communications to help your practice and your patients thrive.

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