Why Hire a Medical Scribe in Your Practice?
Thanks to federal and insurance regulations, complications associated with the electronic health record (EHR), and the release of ICD-10, physicians are bogged down by administrative tasks. Doctors spend more time charting, documenting, and coding than they do interacting with patients and ensuring the quality delivery of care.
What if we told you there was a way to ease your administrative burdens and focus more on your patients? What if we said there was a way to relieve you of 80% of your ancillary duties? Hiring a medical scribe can help you do just that.
There are several benefits associated with hiring a medical scribe for your practice. Learn why this emerging trend is here to stay.
Increased Patient Satisfaction
Scribes are beloved by more than just doctors – patients love them, too. Many physicians have noticed that patients are spending more time in the waiting room, while doctors contend with increased documentation demands before beginning a new encounter. With a scribe, a physician can dictate an encounter while it’s happening. Scribes can then send electronic prescriptions to the pharmacy, enter the appropriate codes, and compile the necessary documentation for the EHR.
A report by the American College of Emergency Physicians found that patient satisfaction scores improved significantly in emergency departments that staff scribes. Scribes also increase physician satisfaction. Doctors can spend more time interacting with patients, and less time completing the administrative tasks associated with practicing medicine.
Increased Patient Volume and Communication
Scribes improve documentation practices because they can focus on navigating the EHR, ensuring accurate coding and charts. In fact, medical practices that employ scribes are more likely to achieve higher Current Procedural Terminology status. Studies suggest that physicians who work with scribes see an average of one more patients per hour, creating shorter wait times for patients.
Physicians who work with scribes must vocalize their findings and treatment recommendations in a way the scribe can understand. Patients benefit from the vocalization because diagnoses are often expressed in layman’s terms, encouraging beneficial dialogue between patient and doctor.
At the end of a standard workday, a high-volume practice may have 50–75 charts per physician. In a practice with scribes, these charts are completed during each patient encounter, saving physicians tedious man-hours after their shifts end. Without the monotony of excessive paperwork and being able to spend more time interacting with patients, some doctors even report feeling happier and less stressed because of working with a scribe.
The Benefits Outweigh the Costs
Scribes are well worth the investment. According to Payscale, a compensation tracking company, medical scribes earn between $8 and $16 dollars an hour. This is a solid investment, considering the increased productivity realized in practices that employ medical scribes. Physicians can see more patients per day, resulting in a financial gain for the practice.
Scribes are useful in any practice setting, from private clinics to large physician and hospital groups. Every discipline, from emergency medicine to orthopedic surgery, can benefit from hiring a scribe. By easing the administrative burdens of physicians, they make the workplace more efficient and increase patient satisfaction and outcomes.