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The use of scribes can lower the burnout of maintaining electronic medical records.
Physician burnout was already an issue before COVID-19. Now, during a pandemic, it only continues to become more acute.
One culprit: electronic medical records (EMRs). The increasing demands for making timely EMR entries, and keeping up with additional documentation and coding, is adding hours to an already overloaded practitioner’s workdays and, quite often, nights. EMRs are sapping physician productivity and revenue, hurting patient-physician interactions and relationships, and causing widespread frustration leading to burnout.
Many practices are turning to scribe services to take care of EMR entries and other support services so they can devote more time and attention to their patients, streamline ancillarytasks, and increase revenue - without increasing work time.
A study in the Annals of Family Medicinefound that using scribe services led to significant improvements in overall physician satisfaction, chart quality and accuracy, and charting efficiency without detracting from patient satisfaction. Ultimately, the researchers found utilizing scribes to be a promising strategy to improve health care efficiency and reduce physician burnout.
The potential for utilizing scribe services virtually is opening even more opportunities as doctors, and their patients, become more comfortable with telehealth and other remote technologies. Practices large and small have been reporting the benefits of using well-trained, dedicated scribes to supplement staff, overcome labor shortages, and curb the increasing costs of running a healthcare business.
Here are six tips for optimally structuring and leveraging medical scribe services:
The evidence is clear: it has been proven through research, and anecdotally, that scribes are just what the doctor ordered to maintain a more productive, profitable practice. Managing that relationship efficiently will enable a doctor to focus on what is most important: the patient.
Terry Ciesla is senior vice president of ScribeEMR located in Woburn Massachusetts. www.scribeEMR.com