Why Would a Clinician Need a Medical Scribe?

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In today’s practice, a clinician needs a medical scribe. Why?

According to an article in the Harvard Business Review titled “The Strategy That Will Fix Healthcare” a doctor’s cost per minute might be up to $4 a minute, or $240 for a full hour. It does not make economic sense to pay a doctor $240 an hour to fill out data into an EMR.

Scribes will allow the provider to spend more time on patient care rather than filling out lengthy, tedious and cumbersome records for EMR/EHR.

A Clinician Need a Medical Scribe

Virtual scribes allow the clinician to spend more time with the patient. Discussing the patient’s case and history, assessing, and managing. As a result, the patient will benefit from the increased quality of care. Also, the provider will benefit by saving significant time seeing more patients. With less typing and worrying about proper documentation for billing purposes.

On average, a provider is able to save between 12-20 minutes per patient filling out their EMR with a scribe. As noted, this outsourcing to a virtual medical scribe allows providers to see more patients per hour. Meanwhile resulting in a clinician saving 2 hours of typing per day. This can be time spent reading and catching up with literature, research, or free up time to spend with family, just to name a few examples. Moreover, seeing more patients and the extra 2 hours will add significantly to the provider’s revenue while easing the load.

In recent years, patients have reported dissatisfaction with a rise in clinicians staring at the computer. Seemingly more worried about data entering, rather than focusing on them.

What Virtual Medical Scribes Can Offer?

  • Based on my own personal experience, a majority of patients do not mind that a virtual scribe is remotely present at the visit. In fact, some even enjoy conversing with the virtual scribes. Giving them information for documentation purposes in the EMR before the clinician even comes into the room.
  • Some patients feel uncomfortable and even threatened by having a scribe physically present in the room during the office visit. The advantage of having a virtual scribe is that this discomfort is often bypassed. Since the scribe is not noticed too much by the patients, as an extra body is not looming in the room.
  • Another practical advantage of a virtual scribe is that you can hire one as needed with no long-term obligation. There is no minimum requirement or long-term contract. As long as there is adequate internet service at the place patient is seen, the scribe’s capacity to shadow the clinician from clinic to clinic to hospital and vice-versa is another major benefit.  

Saving money by hiring virtual medical scribes vs. in-person medical scribes:

Per “Salary.com” the average Medical Scribe salary in California is $38,021 as of October 30, 2019; but the range typically falls between $31,680 and $41,844.

Outsourcing to My Virtual Scribe (MVS.us) brings this cost down to approximately $17,280 (40/hrs per week, 48 weeks per year). Free and clear of worrying about additional expenses of taxes, workman’s comp, and disability.

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