Hospitals are always looking for ways to improve efficiency and reduce medical errors. In the fast-paced world for patient treatment, that’s a battle that’s not always won when health is at stake. One solution that is becoming more popular is to use the services of a medical scribe. Here are four reasons why hospitals may benefit from using a scribe.
Maintain Electronic Health Records
With the move to digital health records for patients in the form of the EHR, hospitals need to ensure that the information for each patient is correct. Doctors spending extra time with each consultation to update the record leads to longer hours, potential fatigue, and mistakes creeping in.
Through medical scribe training, employees working in this role take on the responsibility of noting down which procedures have been performed, which lab tests have been ordered, and so forth. This helps to make patient records more accurate than they might otherwise be.
Properly coded medical notes with minimal errors reduce the potential for future incorrect diagnosis too.
When hospitals and doctors are hit by unexpected lawsuits, there’s a need to know exactly what happened with that patient. With a scribe, a more accurate record is available about when the patient was first seen, what was decided, and any action taken such as tests ordered or procedures performed, etc. Looking at the information gathered, it’s also helpful for the physician to jog their memory. After all, they see so many patients, that perfect recall from an old case is difficult.
Establishing potential liability for medical errors and other complaints is also easier to discern for the hospital administrative staff and their legal team too. This helps them determine which cases to settle and those to strongly contest.
Improved Productivity for Physicians
A percentage of the time that physicians spend on each patient visit tends to reduce by upwards of ten percent, on average. This is true whether it’s a cardiologist or another type of medical professional. The scribe pulls together relevant medical information to document what has been done. This takes some of the administrative work off the shoulders of the physician. As a result, they’re less rushed and can still see more patients in a given workday.
Patient Consultation Time is Increased
Along with the time savings by removing some of the administrative headaches, physicians get more one-on-one time with each patient.
Also, rather than being distracted by needing to complete paperwork while in the consultation, physicians can put their attention to the patient and let the medical scribe make digital notes. Patients often appreciate the additional time to discuss their medical issues and feel the consultation was more worthwhile than in past visits. For physicians, it can create more of a sense of doing good because there’s a closer connection between their work and directly helping patients.
There is an increasing number of medical scribes being used by hospitals across the nation. As the benefits become clearer, some physicians are asking for them. Also, hospital administrative staff often learn of the benefits from industry colleagues too. The adoption of electronic medical records for patients has also seen medical scribes become more common now.