Dr. Peters, at the State General Hospital, has been noticing Dr. Jones leaving much earlier than him. Upon discussion with his colleagues, he found out that Dr. Jones sees more patients than any other physician in the hospital while working a lesser number of hours. In the past month, Dr. Jones has managed to work half-shifts without affecting his productivity. Now, Dr. Peters is extremely curious to know how Dr. Jones is working so efficiently whereas other physicians are struggling to meet the clerical demand of documenting the clinical visit, let alone seeing that many numbers of patients. So, one fine day, when he sees Dr. Peters relaxing, reading a book during peak hours of the day, he couldn’t resist but ask him about the trick he is using to see more patients while taking out so much time for himself and family. He looked at him, smiled innocently, and gave him a 3-word answer, “Remote Medical Scribe.“
Wondering who remote medical scribes are, Dr. Peters started researching the field of medical scribing. To his surprise, he found a lot of interesting facts regarding how medical scribes are helping doctors streamline their workflow and see more patients. Further, he found testimonies from physicians who have stated on record the benefits of having a medical scribe as a helping hand. Remote medical scribes in the medical field have gained popularity over the past decade, serving healthcare providers in completing clerical tasks, especially medical charting.
But how do they do it?
To answer the question, this article presents the workflow of a remote medical scribe so that you do not go unaware like Dr. Peters. The article highlights how a medical scribe works in sync with the healthcare provider and efficiently manages the physician’s workload.
Workflow of a Remote Medical Scribe
First, a few things happen behind the scene to set up the entire system. New credentials are made for the remote medical scribe sitting offshore to let him enter into the EMR that the healthcare provider has been using. He is then trained to work on the particular EMR. Simultaneously, the company offering medical scribe services trains the scribe to work according to the provider’s preference, matching his charting style.
When it’s all said and done, a remote medical scribe is ready to work with the provider in real-time during his shift. The medical scribe preps the medical chart before time to finish as much pre-visit work as possible. As the provider is about to start his shift, he would log into the telemedicine application, such as VSee, Amwell, Skype, or Zoom, for two-way communication with his scribe. The real-time workflow of a remote medical scribe with the provider can be broadly categorized into the following:
- Before the visit
Just before a visit, the provider or his medical assistant (MA) informs the remote medical scribe about the patient to be seen. This is an opportunity for the medical scribe to confirm any critical information about the patient, such as the chief complaint, any radiography findings pertinent to the complaint, etc.
During the visit
As the provider enters the room and starts asking the patient about his concerns and complaints, the remote medical scribe begins charting the clinically important information from the provider-patient interaction. Usually, every EMR contains separate sections or tabs for writing History of Present Illness (HPI), Assessment & Plan (A/P), Review of System (ROS), and Physical Examination (PE).
The scribe, using his intellect and training experience, segregates the information and places them into the appropriate sections of the EMR. He notes down what the patient is complaining about and writes them in the HPI section. He also pens down the relevant information from the previous visit and blood results or imaging findings if the ongoing encounter is a follow-up.
From the patient’s narrative, the medical scribe filters out the chief medical issues with the patient and notes them down in as few words as possible, corresponding to the physiological system that has been affected in the ROS section. For example, “nausea,” “right knee pain,” “dyspnea,” “fever,” etc.
Simultaneously but separately, the remote medical scribe also takes cognizance of what the provider is recommending or advising to the patient. He places that provider’s part of the conversation in the A/P section in a format preferred by the provider. All this documentation happens in real-time while the patient and physician interact. Not limited to just documenting the conversation, the medical scribe also places the orders for labs/scans and sends prescriptions and referrals as directed by the provider.
Physicians usually have to speak out loud during the physical exam while examining the patient. This helps a medical scribe understand and describe the physical findings that are causing the symptoms to occur or exhibited by an illness. These findings, along with the patient’s narrative, help the remote medical scribe frame the base using which he is about to write the assessment and plan of the provider.
Post clinical visit
There are times when the healthcare provider cannot communicate the physical exam due to lack of time or the sensitive nature of the findings. In those instances, he dictates the exam when the patient leaves. Additionally, he can dictate partial or complete A/P to ensure the inclusion of particular details of the treatment. And when the remote medical scribe confirms the completion of charting into the EMR, the provider proofreads the chart and signs it, sending any prescriptions, referrals, or orders that have been placed.
Qualitative and Tangible Benefits in brief
Real-time clinical documentation done by a remote medical scribe empowers providers to combat burnout by eliminating data entry and EMR documentation burden during and after the clinical visit, thus increasing practice efficiency and improving clinical interactions with patients. The medical scribe helps a healthcare provider save 5-10 minutes for every patient seen. The scribe provides detailed medical information to the physician within minutes, saving precious time. It implies that a provider seeing 12 patients a day can easily add 6 more patients to his schedule within the same timeframe, allowing him to earn more income/incentives for providing value-based care.
With a remote medical scribe working alongside, an individual physician can directly contribute additional $125,000-$200,000 revenue per year for his facility. Consequently, the medical scribes help physicians streamline their workflow, enhance work satisfaction, and allow them to see patients as scheduled and leave the facility on time to spend quality time with their families.
ScribeEMR provides real-time, remote, HIPAA-compliant EMR charting, medical coding, and ancillary support that improves practice efficiency, maximizes revenue, and reduces physician burnout. Extensively trained, remote medical scribes log in to document patient visits in real time, with quick turnaround and exceptional chart quality. Dedicated, certified medical coders assign the right codes to each diagnosis and treatment to reduce errors and optimize medical billing and reimbursement. Additional services include referral coordination, insurance eligibility verification, preauthorization management, and additional administrative, clerical, and customer support provided by trained virtual assistants. For more information visit www.scribeemr.com.