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
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?