(HealthDay)—Medical scribes can accurately document physician or independent practitioner dictation and activities, allowing providers to spend more time with patients, according to an article published Oct. 10 in Medical Economics.
Maxine Lewis, president of Medical Coding & Reimbursement in Cincinnati, discusses the role of scribes in medical practices.
Lewis notes that medical scribes are unlicensed, trained medical information managers, who specialize in charting physician-patient encounters during medical examinations, and work either onsite or from a remote facility. The information recorded by the scribe is entered into the electronic health record or chart, at the direction of the physician or independent practitioner. Scribes allow for accurate documentation, while enabling the provider to spend more time with the patient. The scribe only documents the physician's or practitioner's dictation and activities, and may not act independently. Scribes can provide assistance in navigating the electronic health record and locate test or laboratory results and other information. They can also support workflow and documentation for coding of medical records.
"There are several ways to determine the effectiveness of a scribe program using objective metrics," Lewis writes. "They include relative value units per hour or shift, number of patients seen per hour or shift, clinical versus administrative time, average charge per billable visit, number of incomplete and deficient charts, door-to-discharge time, and patient satisfaction survey results."
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