Chapter 7 Medical Assisting Concorde

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written correspondence
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professional image is conveyed
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written documents
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also serve as legal records
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ensures positive and effective communication
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learning how to create, send, and receive correspondence and other types of mail
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letterhead
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refers to formal business stationery on which the doctor’s (or office’s) name and address are printed at the top
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8 1/2 x 11 inches
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most common size of standard or letter-size paper
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printed together
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business letterhead, matching envelopes, and sometimes invoice and statement letterhead
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no. 10 envelope
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most common envelope size used for correspondence
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no. 6 to no. 10
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envelopes used for invoices and statements
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smaller payment-return envelopes
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preaddressed to the doctor’s office-are often included along with a bill, for the patient’s convenience
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tan kraft envelopes
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called clasp envelopes, are available in many sizes and are used to send large or bulky documents
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padded envelopes
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used to send documents or materials, such as slides, that may be damages in the normal course of mail handling
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data mailer
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produced by a computer and are used by larger businesses and hospitals for batch mailings for items such as paychecks, appointment reinders and some invoices
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Labels
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address labels, printed from a computerized mailing list, can greatly speead the process of addressing envelopes for builk mailings
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different types of invoices and statements
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preprinted invoices, preprinted statements, computer-generated invoices and statements, superbills
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preprinted invoices
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used to send an original bill
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preprinted statements
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used to send a reminder when an account is 30 or more days past due
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A letter
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a form of communication-much like holding a conversation in person
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purpose of most letters
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explain, clarify, or give instructions or information
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Parts of a buisiness letter
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letterhead, dateline, inside address, attention line, salutation, subject line, body, complimentary closing, signature block, identification line, notations
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letterhead (business letter)
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the preprinted portion of a formal business stationery
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dateline
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consists of the month, day, and year. approximately line 15
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inside address
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contains all the necessary information for correct delivery of the letter
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attention line
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used when a letter is addressed to a company but sent to the attention of a particular individual
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salutation
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a written greeting such as “Dear,” followed by Mr., Mrs., or Ms., and the person’s last name
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subject line
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sometimes used to bring the subject of the letter to the reader’s attention. should be keyed on the second line below the salutation
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body
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begins two lines below the salutation or subject line. The text is single-spaced with double-spacing between paragraphs
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complimentary closing
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“Sincerely”, “Very truly yours” and “Best regards”
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signature block
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contains the writer’s name on the first line and the writer’s business title on the second line
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identification line
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the letter writer’s initials followed by a colon or slash and the typist’s initials are sometimes included in the letter
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notations
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include information such as the number of enclosures that are included with the letter and the names of other people who will be receiving copies of the letter
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punctuation styles
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open and mixed
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open punctuation
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this style uses no punctuation after the following items when they appear in a letter: The word Attention in the attention line, the salutation, the complimentary closing, the signature block, and the enclosure and copy notations
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mixed punctuation
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this style includes the following punctuation marks used in specific instances: a colon after Attention in the attention line, a colon after the salutation, a comma after the complimentary closing, a colon or period after the enclosure notation, a colon after the copy notation
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the margin
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the space around the edges of a form or letter that is left blank.
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roughly center
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according to the length of the letter.
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single space
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the body of the letter
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double space
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between paragraphs or parts of the letter
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use short sentences
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no more than 20 words on average
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include at lease
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2 or 3 sentences in each paragraph
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divide long paragraphs
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more than 10 lines of type into shorter ones
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for multipage letters
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use letterhead for the first page
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letter styles
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full-block, modified block, modified-block style with indented paragraphs, and simplified
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full-block style
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typed with all lines flush left, one of the most common formats used in the medical office
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modified-block style
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the dateline, complimentary closing, signature block, and notations are aligned and begin at the center of the page or slightly to the right. this type of letter has a traditional, balanced appearance
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modified-block style with indented paragraphs
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paragraphs are indented one-half inch
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simplified style
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a modification of the full-block style
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effective writing
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before you write, know the type of person to whom you are writing, know the purpose of the letter before you begin, be concise, show clarity, use the active voice whenever possible, always be polite and courteous, always check spelling and the accuracy of dates and monetary figures, always check your grammar, avoid leaving “widows and orphans” or dangling words and phrases
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widows and orphans
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words and short phrases at the end or beginning of paragraphs that are left to sit alone at the top or bottom of a page or colum or separated from the rest of the thought
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templates
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most word processing software have these
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editing
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involves checking a document for factual accuracy, logical flow, conciseness, clarity, and tone
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proofreading
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involves checking a document for grammatical, spelling, and formatting errors
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editing and proofreading
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whenever possible, ask another person to proofread your owrk as well. NEver skip over the very important steps of editing and proofreading
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tools for editing and proofreading
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dictionary and medical dictionary
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editing process
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ensures that a document is accurate, clear, and complete; free of grammatical errors; organized logically; and written in an appropriate style
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language usage
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learn basic grammar rules. continually ask yourself, “Is this the best way to convey what I want to say?
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content
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follow logical thought pattern
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create a clean, concise letter by
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stating the purpose of the letter in the first sentence, discussing one topic at a time, changing paragraphs when you change topics, listing events in chronological order, sticking to the subject, selecting words carefully, reading over what you have written before printing
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after editing a document
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put it aside for a short time before proofreading it
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formatting, data, and mechanical
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three types of errors that occur when preparing a document
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formatting errors
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these errors involve the positioning of the various parts of a letter. they may include errors in indenting, line length, or line spacing.
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data errors
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involve mistyping monetary figures. verify the accuracy of all figures by checking them twice or by having another coworker check them
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mechanical errors
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errors in spelling, punctuation, spacing between words, and division of words
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signing letters
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if you have been authorized to sign letters, you should sign the doctor’s name and place your initials after the doctor’s signature
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airmail supplies
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if you are sending an item by airmail, attach special airmail stickers, available from the post office, on all sides
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postal rates, scales, and meters
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postal rates and regulations change periodically, and every medical office should have a copy of the latest guidelines
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first-class mail
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items must weigh 11 ounces or less to be considered first-class. the cost of mailing a first-class item is based on its weight
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parcel post
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weigh at least one pound but not more than 70 pounds
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priority mail
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weighs between 11 ounces and 70 pounds.
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special delivery
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delivery of the item is typically made before the regularly scheduled mail delivery
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certified mail
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offers a guarantee that the item has been received. requires the postal carrier to obtain a signature upon delivery
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registered mail
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used to send items that are valuable, irreplaceable, or otherwise important
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tracing mail
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you can also trace mail on the internet through a UPC symbol that is scanned at the post office
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other delivery services
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UPS, Federal Express, and DHL, messengers or couriers
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processing incoming mail
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sorting, opening, recording, annotating, and distributing
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sorting and opening
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unless you have special permission never open personal mail addressed to another person
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recording
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keep a log of each day’s mail
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annotating
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to underline or highlight key points of the letter or to write reminders, comments, or suggested actions in the margins or on self-adhesive notes
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distributing
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sort letters into separate batches for distribution
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handling drug and product samples
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such as hand creams or cough drops, may be placed in the patient treatment area for patient distribution as directed by the physician. store all other drug samples in a locked cabinet reserved solely for such samples
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cannot register
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parcel post or express mail

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