It’s well known that, in the vast majority of cases, Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) make doctors far less efficient when seeing patients.
Why? Because it’s rather difficult to tend to the computer when you’re supposed to be focusing on the patient. It’s relatively easy to write with pen and paper while listening and explaining. It’s far harder to keep two hands on a keyboard, a third hand on the mouse, one eye on the screen and another eye on the patient and any family members that may be in the room with you. And the fact that most EMRs and user interfaces are designed by computer geeks with no knowledge of clinical care or workflow certainly doesn’t help matters. As soon as EMRs are deployed, physician productivity typically goes down by about 40% and it rarely ever gets back to where it was prior to installation.
Employing “scribes” is an increasingly common way physician’s and healthcare organization’s use to get around this mess. Since physician time is scarce and expensive, the thinking goes, why not hire a somewhat less expensive person to handle all the new busywork generated by computers? As a result, an entirely new industry has arisen whose main function is to type patient information directly into electronic medical records.
A medical scribe or clinical information manager is a person trained in medical documentation who assists a physician throughout his or her work day. They serve as a personal assistant to doctors to help make them more efficient and productive. The primary function of a scribe is the creation and maintenance of the patient’s medical record, which is created under the supervision of the attending physician. The scribe will document the patient’s story, the physician’s interaction with the patient, the procedures performed, the results of laboratory studies, and other pertinent information. Additional functions of a scribe may include ordering laboratory/radiology studies, assisting with the patient’s disposition, documenting consultations, and notifying the physician when important studies are completed.
Here is a list of characteristics that contribute to the success of a medical scribe.
- Strong English grammar skills
- A compelling interest in healthcare
- Outgoing and friendly personality
- Strong desire to work onsite in a clinical setting
- Superior analytical and resource skills
- Strong computer and keyboarding skills
- Keen listening skills
- Strong hand-eye coordination
- High level of concentration
- Attention to detail
- A commitment to lifelong learning
- Looking for a career that has an excellent future
If you are interested in pursuing a career as a Certified Medical Scribe, visit our online Medical Scribe training program information page!