As per the last available statistics, there would be more than 1,00,000 medical scribes in the United States. If we run them along with the number of doctors and primary care physicians, it is still 1 medical scribe per 9 doctors, physicians, and other healthcare providers. Industry predictions say the demand is going to increase in the upcoming years because statistics show that doctors, primary care physicians, and nurses are overworked with the clerical workload.
Earlier, there was a little percentage of doctors and primary care physicians who preferred Virtual medical scribes, but the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the entire landscape. In this post, we are going to evaluate all the available options for medical scribes. You will learn about what a medical scribe is, what a medical scribe does, and your guide to medical scribe services for 2022.
What is a Medical Scribe?
A Medical Scribe is a personal assistant to a primary care physician or doctor who performs a variety of administrative tasks. The primary roles and responsibilities of a medical scribe include:
Performing documentation in the EHR/EMR
Document all physician and patient interactions
Gathering information for the patient’s visit
Partnering with the physician one-on-one to deliver the pinnacle of efficient patient care
Manage other administrative tasks
What Does a Medical Scribe Do?
The purpose of hiring a medical scribe is to ensure that a doctor or primary care physician can focus on the patient’s care rather than taking care of the clerical tasks. A medical scribe can perform a variety of duties. Here is a brief explanation of what a medical scribe can do.
Documenting all the patient and physician interactions
A Medical Scribe works one-on-one with the primary care physician. The medical scribe patiently listens to the conversation between a doctor and the patient and makes clinical notes of it and records it in the system. In cases where privacy is concerned, a medical scribe separately makes notes as dictated by the doctor.
Perform documentation in EHR
The implementation of the EHR/EMR in the US healthcare system has resulted in a great deal of clerical work for physicians. EHR is the digital health record of a patient’s medical history and it is the responsibility of the healthcare provider to maintain the digital record. A medical scribe performs documentation in the EHR/EMR.
Manage other administrative tasks
A Medical Scribe can also help the physician or doctor manage administrative tasks such as gathering information for the patient visit, scheduling appointments, making phone calls, preparing patients for the visit, and managing back office tasks.
Guide to Medical Scribe Services for 2022!
In a recent study published on PubMed Central on ‘Impact of Scribes on Physician Satisfaction, Patient Satisfaction, and Charting Efficiency’, it stated that for every hour physicians provide direct face-time to patients, 2 more hours are spent on EHR and desk work and many physicians spend 1 to 2 hours each night working on the EHR. Thus, one strategy to decrease clerical burden is the use of medical scribes.
If you are also looking for medical scribe solutions, you can use this guide to medical services for 2022 to make a well-informed decision. We evaluate all the five options on the five main factors which are as follows:
● Service provider
- In-house medical scribes
The first option you have is to hire an in-house medical scribe.
Service provider: you have to hire a medical scribe. You may need to publish an advertisement in the newspaper or job portals and interview various candidates to find a good medical scribe.
Responsibilities: hiring in-house medical scribes comes with a range of responsibilities. You need to manage all the administrative tasks of hiring an employee such as payroll, training, covering sick days, taxes, and turnover.
Cost: hiring an in-house medical scribe is probably the most expensive option due to the overhead expenses and the higher hourly charges of an on-site medical scribe.
Challenges: the most common challenge of hiring an in-house medical scribe is off the training. Inexperienced medical scribes require decent training to be effective in a workplace.
Recommendation: a good in-house medical scribe provides high-quality customized medical scribe services to your workflows. If you really prefer to work with a personal assistant and have a huge workload, then only opt for this option.
- A medical scribe contract company
The next option you have is to partner with a medical scribe contract company that can provide you with a medical scribe as per your requirements.
Service provider: a medical scribe contract company provides you with a medical scribe on its payroll.
Responsibilities: it is similar to an in-house medical scribe but without HR responsibilities. So, the administrative tasks of hiring a new employee are taken care of.
Cost: the overall cost of hiring a medical scribe on a contract basis is less than the in-house medical scribe, but it is still an expensive option to virtual medical scribe services.
Challenges: you may have to deal with the turnover when working with a medical scribe contract company. Every time a medical scribe leaves your office, you have to train the new medical scribe.
Recommendation: if you are ready to add an additional member to your clinic, then only opt for this option. A good medical scribe can help you with daily administrative tasks to boost productivity.
- Virtual medical scribes
Virtual medical scribes have emerged as the most popular option for medical scribe services. A virtual medical scribe listens to the real-time information of the patient’s visit via video conferencing or phone from an offsite location and can perform most of the duties an on-site personal assistant performs using a computer.
Service provider: a virtual medical scribe company provides you with a virtual medical scribe who performs all the functions remotely.
Responsibilities: unlike in-house medical scribes, virtual medical scribes do not need extensive training. They are highly trained professionals who can be easily trained to your customized workflow. You do not have to worry about HR tasks and administrative tasks.
Cost: virtual medical scribes are the most cost-effective option. You do not need a dedicated office space for your medical scribe as it is working remotely. This reduced your overhead expenses significantly.
Recommendation: a virtual medical scribe is an ideal option for doctors looking for a cost-effective solution to manage clerical workload.
- Medical scribe software
This is another option that some doctors prefer to opt for. A medical scribe software or voice recognition software linked to EHR can help you create your clinical notes efficiently.
Service provider: you need to buy good medical scribe software or voice recognition software.
Responsibilities: all you have to do is make monthly payments. Voice recognition software takes time to implement and get used to.
Cost: it is a cost-effective option than a virtual scribe, but it comes with limited functionality.
Recommendations: this option is a good option for doctors or physicians who do not have extensive clerical workload and looking for a cost-effective virtual medical scribe solution.
- Do it yourself
The last option you have left is do-it-yourself using EHR software and some free online tools. It will put you in the same place where you were.
Service provider: you are the one who has to do all the tasks.
Responsibilities: you are responsible for making all the entries, writing down notes, and managing patient records.
Cost: it costs you your time that can be invested in patient care and exploring new business opportunities.
Challenges: you need to spend 1-3 hours everyday on clerical work.
Recommendation: you can do clerical work by yourself when you are new to the service and do not have many patients.
These are a few insights on the medical scribe services that can help you make the right decision.
Which medical scribe services option sounds interesting to you? Let us know in the comments section below