Medical Scribe Profitability. The objective of an Annals of Internal Medicine study entitled, The Productivity Requirements of Implementing a Medical Scribe Program determined the number of additional patient visits various specialties would need to recover the costs of implementing scribes in their practice at 1 year.

The study determined that an average of 1.34 additional new patient visits per day (295 per year) were required to recover medical scribe costs (range, 0.89 [cardiology] to 1.80 [orthopedic surgery] new patient visits per day).  For returning patients, an average of 2.15 additional visits per day (472 per year) were required (range, 1.65 [cardiology] to 2.78 [orthopedic surgery] returning visits per day). The addition of 2 new patient (or 3 returning) visits per day was profitable for all specialties.

Scribe costs were based on literature review and a third-party contractor model. Revenue was calculated from direct visit billing, CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) billing, and data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.

To make the medical scribe program profitable after one year, physicians from all specialties had to see two new or three returning patients each day. This was calculated with the assumption that physicians and other health professionals would work 220 eight-hour clinic days per year and that scribe shifts mirrored that schedule.

“Providing a scribe right now might actually be the thing that keeps your providers from saying, ‘I’m going to retire. I’m opting out,’” said Dr. Laiteerapong. “If we don’t have some sort of tool that can help people with their notes right now, you could end up losing a good chunk of the workforce.”

“People could say, ‘Oh, we’re going to wait to invest in scribes later,’” she said. But “there may not be a later for many of those physicians.”

For all specialties, modest increases in productivity due to scribes may allow physicians to see more patients and offset scribe costs, making scribe programs revenue-neutral.

Learn more about our Develop Your Own Scribe(s) Program

What impresses medical schools?  The requirements for premed students are constantly stacking higher and higher

Between prerequisite coursework, extracurricular activities, the MCAT, CASPer, and more, it can be incredibly difficult for premeds to find time for all of their obligations. This becomes especially difficult when students have to work to generate income for themselves or their families.

medical scribe works alongside physicians and assists in the documentation of patient visits. Scribing can allow a premed student to get close doctor interaction while gaining skills in medical documentation, terminology, and treatment plans.

Scribes also may get some direct patient interaction. Though this position requires specific training, there are many positions available once it is completed and scribing can even be done remotely.

Read the full US News and World Report article here.

The Medical Scribe role is becoming increasingly more vital in today’s evolving healthcare environment. The Medical scribe is a trained healthcare documentation professional who works side-by-side with a physicians in a variety of clinical settings to relieve the administrative burden and allow the physician to more fully focus on the patient.

Check out our Medical Scribe Career infographic to learn more about the role, its requirements and responsibilities, and what the future looks like for those individuals interested in pursuing a career as a medical scribe.

Change can breed confusion. And with the explosion of information and data that is occurring in the “technology revolution” and the growth of social media, every industry has developed its share of confusion, legends and myths. With all the changes happening in the healthcare industry, especially around EMR and healthcare documentation, misinformation and misconception can occur just as easily, which leads to common misunderstandings about the different career opportunities that exist today.

In a recent article for titled Ten Myths About Medical Transcription, Anne Martinez writes about some of the notions that have grown around the Medical Transcription profession. Central among the myths Martinez addresses are several that predict that the role of medical transcriptionist is being replaced by technology or going overseas. The big takeaway from her article is, Transcription is here to stay and more important than ever.

3 Key points:

  • Speech recognition technology WILL NOT make medical transcriptionists obsolete.
  • Electronic health records WILL NOT eliminate the need for medical transcriptionists.
  • Medical transcription work WILL NOT completely be moved overseas (off-shoring).

Speech recognition technology cannot replace transcriptionists because it can’t recognize nuances in language and meaning, and consistently leads to errors. It’s really a simple equation: technology isn’t human, and language needs human interpretation to recognize things like context, and meaning. These errors make transcriptionists more critical than ever, as they need to monitor the technology for errors and quality.

Electronic Health Records were never meant to replace people. They exist as a digital version of an individual’s health chart. The benefit of this is the health information within the record is available, via a secure system, to all the medical professionals involved with each patient, so each can see a holistic picture of the patient’s health history. Ensuring accurate information is placed in the electronic health record is paramount and will lead to better diagnosis, smarter interaction between disciplines and improved patient care. This digital format allows for immediate remote access by any physician who is authorized to review the patient information.

While there was a period of off-shoring transcription services in the nineties, having medical transcription work performed overseas poses heightened dangers of potentially violating patient-physician confidentiality by unaccountable persons. More recently, changes to HIPAA regulations in 2010 require transcription services to be provided closer to home, to protect patient confidentiality.

In other good news, you don’t need certification to start working. Certification comes later. Transcription career progression, roughly, is: train / work / certification. So, you can complete your training and start working right away.