Tag Archives: Careers

Scribes Help Doctors Focus on Patients, Not Computers

Medical Scribes have proven to be a vital part in the clinical documentation role. Scribes have become increasingly popular in the fast paced emergency rooms where it is critical to move patients through quickly. Check out this article on indystar.com – “Scribes Help Doctors Focus on Patients, Not Computers”

 

Medical Scribe Program at AHDPG

Check out our short video about our Medical Scribe Program on YouTube  and see if you are as excited as we are.  Give us a call today to find out more.  Ask for Lynn, our Admission Coordinator.

 

 

Could This Be The Beginning of a Groundswell Movement Against EHR Adoption?

As the healthcare industry marches towards Stage 2 of Meaningful Use, there is a large population of physicians that have not yet accepted the requirements put forth by CMS in the EHR Incentive Programs. Dr. Daniel F. Craviotto Jr., an orthopedic surgeon in Santa Barbara, California, took to the Wall Street Journal earlier this week to protest the restrictive chains of EHR adoption, quality penalties, shrinking Medicare reimbursements, and bureaucratic red tape that prevent a physician from focusing on what’s really important: engaging with and treating patients.

As noted in a previous blog post (Doctors or Data Entry Clerks?) we have been wondering when physicians, other healthcare practitioners and more importantly, healthcare executives were finally going to see the Emperor’s true clothes and begin to push back against the $30 billion dollar machine which is perverting healthcare delivery and any true efforts to reduce the rise in healthcare spending in this country.

Now do a quick Google search and all of a sudden there is a growing list of articles questioning the implementation, cost and patient safety benefits arising from this national initiative.  Here is a sample of some of the most recent articles:

U.S. Electronic Health Record Initiative: A Backlash (IEEE Spectrum)

Electronic Health Records Rife with Flaws (Albuquerque Journal)

Report Finds More Flaws in Digitizing Patient Files (NY Times)

Is EHR “mania” Hiding Serious Patient Safety Flaws? (EHR Intelligence)

To be clear we are not against the implementation of technology in healthcare.  In fact, there are any number of proven technologies that we have all benefited from and there will be new technologies that we will benefit from moving forward in the future.  What we are saying is two things:

First, if the technology is truly of value to the marketplace (any marketplace, but in this case the healthcare delivery marketplace) then we have a great system setup in this country where that technology will be embraced (sold and implemented) and it does not require a $30 billion push from the government to make it happen.

Secondly, since one of the largest cost drivers in any business (including healthcare) is people, then one of the best and simplest ways to reduce costs is to ensure you have the right people, doing the right activities in the most cost effective manner.  Using highly educated, highly compensated physicians as data entry clerks is not the solution.

For all our sake’s we hope this groundswell continues to grow!

Do You Need a Scribe?

Over the past several decades, new and interesting healthcare roles have been created to reflect the changing complexities of our health care system. We have seen the proliferation of hospitalists, surgicalists and laborists (in-hospital obstetrical specialists) on the physician side, and patient navigators, physician extenders and patient ombudsmen in the non-physician side. Now, there is an additional and intriguing job title that may gain some traction even in the high-tech era of the electronic medical record (EMR): the “medical scribe.”

The medical scribe, also known as a “clinical information manager,” “medical scribe specialist” or “ER/ED scribe,” is a trained medical information manager who specializes in charting physician-patient encounters in real time. Although originally spawned as an adjunct in the emergency medicine environment, this clerical resource is seeing wide-spread use in the inpatient and outpatient/ambulatory care settings.

The use of scribes has exploded in direct relationship to the negative consequences of EMR use.

In the inpatient setting, the time that physicians are spending at the patient bedside has been drastically reduced in order to spend more time with EMR data entry. The same applies to the outpatient, ambulatory or office setting where physician face-time with patients has seen an equally significant reduction, by some estimates by as much as 30 percent! Not only is productivity negatively impacted but the time that physicians spend during a patient visit capturing and entering data rather than focusing on the patient can be a major drag on the overall quality of care, patient satisfaction and revenue generation. Here is where the medical scribe may serve a very important role.

The medical scribe is an unlicensed individual hired to enter information into the EMR or chart at the direction of the physician or licensed independent practitioner. Through the use of medical scribes, organizations can improve the overall quality of documentation for both granularity and specificity; which in turn improves billing and revenue generation. In addition, by shifting the vast majority of real-time documentation responsibility to the scribe, physicians are able to see more patients, generate more revenue and better manage their time overall so that at the end of a busy day there is no need to finalize one’s charts or enter additional data in the EMR – increasing regulatory compliance!

The positive effects created by working with a medical scribe are legion:

Quality of Care Increases
Patient Volume Increases
Revenue Increases
Patient Satisfaction Increases
Physician Satisfaction Increases
Regulatory Compliance Increases

As more and more healthcare organizations look to implement medical scribes two methods of implementation are being used. Some healthcare organizations look to engage a medical scribe management company while others choose the homegrown method. Each option brings with it certain advantages and disadvantages.

By partnering with a medical scribe management company a healthcare organization is typically entering into a multi-year agreement where the scribe management company will recruit, hire, train, manage, monitor and deliver a medical scribe program. The fees for this service typically fall into two categories – a one-time implementation fee to get the program up and running (typically between $25,000 – $100,000 depending upon the size and scope of the program) and a per hour fee for each scribe used (typically in the $20 – $26 per hour range). So for each scribe FTE the healthcare facility is paying about $48,000 per year (using $24/hour). A nice premium over the $10 – $14 per hour a typical scribe earns.

And for those organizations who choose the homegrown method the task of recruiting, hiring, training and developing competent resources in sufficient numbers becomes a bit of a challenge.

But now there is a third option.  The American Healthcare Documentation Professionals Group, a Certified Academic Partner of the American College of Medical Scribe Specialists will partner with you to recruit, hire, train and oversee the use of medical scribes at your facility. Whether you need one or 100 scribes our online/on-site medical scribe training program might be just what the doctor ordered!

The benefits of our program include:

  • No upfront implementation cost.
  • No ongoing per/hour per scribe fee.
  • An all-inclusive training fee of less than $2,000 per scribe which covers each scribes tuition, books, materials, membership in the American College of Medical Scribe Specialists and certification exam.
  • Flexibility to “customize” the training program to meet the specific needs of your facility.

Contact us today if you need a medical scribe or 101?