Online Learning Modules Help PCC Medical Assistants Prepare for Workforce

May 27, 2016   |  Tags: Blog   |  Tags: Medical Assistants , OHA PCPCH
Marissa Sweeney

On May 12th I attended the Portland Community College (PCC), Medical Assistant program poster presentations on the core attributes of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Home (PCPCH) model.  This is the third time that I’ve attended the PCC Medical Assistant poster presentations on the medical home model. Each class of Medical Assistants has contributed their own unique understanding of the model, however this group seemed to have the strongest grasp on how the model and, more specifically, the Medical Assistant role as a medical home team member directly contributes to the quality of care and positive outcomes for patients. They displayed an understanding that even at the most minute level, their contribution can influence care on a grand scale.

The redesign of primary care continues to heavily influence the role of Medical Assistants in a practice and their ever–expanding role in a team-based care model. As we move away from the traditional role of Medical Assistants in primary care, they begin to take on more responsibilities. These responsibilities include becoming a key player in communication flow, engaging in longer interactions with patients and assisting with administrative tasks that contribute to care coordination.

As the scope of the Medical Assistant role expands, it’s important that both Medical Assistants and primary care practice administration understand what Medical Assistants can contribute to a team and how their role directly influences patient outcomes. The Patient-Centered Medical Home online learning modules are a great way to get everyone on the same page.  They provide all members of a medical home team with background, practical advice and examples for each of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Home 2014 standards and this makes them a wonderful tool to incorporate in to curriculum before students enter the job market.

We are excited to see that other programs are incorporating the usage of the online learning modules in to their curriculum. Individuals from the following programs have accessed the modules for their studies:

  • Portland Community College
  • University of Connecticut
  • Oregon Health and Science University
  • Vancouver Community College
  • University of San Diego, California
  • University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur
  • Chemeketa Community College
  • Pioneer Pacific College

If you’re interested in accessing the learning modules for your own use go to:

This will be such a great help to people on-boarding; we really would have liked to have this when we were applying for PCPCH recognition last year.

– Carolyn Larrowe, RN Care Coordinator, Corvallis, OR

These modules are an ideal beginning and reference guide to understanding the complexities of the PCPCH, and the introduction module is very helpful because the medical home concept is new to many people.

– Tracy Gaither, Care Coordinator, Albany, OR

Marissa Sweeney joined Q Corp in 2014 as a Program Coordinator on the Measurement & Reporting team, where she tracked and organized the team’s many projects, and worked with medical groups and practices in her role keeping the Q Corp provider directory and provider portal up-to-date and running smoothly. In 2015 she transitioned into a Program Coordinator role working on the Patient-Centered Primary Care Institute. Marissa is originally from Fairbanks, Alaska and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Colorado and a graduate certificate in Project Management from the University of Washington. Her strong interest in process and quality improvement in health care has been cultivated throughout her experience in previous roles, including those in health care research, administration, public health and clinical trials. Immediately before joining Q Corp Marissa worked at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA  for the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.  Outside of work, Marissa enjoys playing with her dog, spending time outdoors, baking, traveling and enjoying all the Pacific Northwest has to offer.