Daily, Ophthalmologists diagnose and treat ophthalmic conditions in clinical practice. The need for help with the evaluation, testing, and scribing is a very real necessity for the ophthalmologist to provide the quality care they desire for their patients.
Many Ophthalmologists hire assistants already certified at the various certification levels obtained through the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO). While others hire assistants without certification.
To comply with The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Stage 2 Eligible Professional Meaningful Use Core Measures, Ophthalmologists must have certified personnel entering data into electronic medical records such as documenting patient histories, physical examination (visual testing), medications, lab results, and other essential patient information. Most Ophthalmologists already (or are in the process of) obtaining electronic medical records, but do not have all employees that are certified to enter this data.
So, the question for the ophthalmologist becomes, how do I certify my assistants who are not currently certified by JCAHPO?
There is a general medical scribe certification through the American College of Medical Scribe Specialist (ACMSS) https://theacmss.org/medical-scribe-certification-and-aptitude-test-the-mscat-purchase-page However, this certification does not specifically address the unique needs of ophthalmology. Ophthalmology is unique in its focused attention to the eye. The ophthalmic terminology alone is a big challenge to the uncertified ophthalmic assistant.
JCAHPO developed the Ophthalmic Scribe Certification (OSC) for those OMT who are not certified at any of the three core certification levels so that ophthalmologist can comply with the CMS requirements for meaningful use two.
According to JCAHPO this is an open resource examination that comprises 125 questions in five core content areas:
• History Taking
• Ophthalmic Patient Services and Education
• Ophthalmic Terminology
• Medical Ethics & Legal Issues
• The Medical Note/Records
The recommended study material for the JCAHPO Ophthalmic Scribe Certification are the books The Ophthalmic Assistant: A Text for Allied and Associated Ophthalmic Personnel and The Ultimate Medical Scribe Handbook: General Edition.
The JCAHPO OSC can also help one to obtain an entry level position in an ophthalmology office.