What does it take to become a Remote Medical Scribe?
Remote medical scribing is a real-time job that requires a professional (the scribe) to connect with a healthcare provider via a telemedicine application and document the physician-patient interaction simultaneously while the provider is offering care to the patient. Real-time clinical documentation done by a remote medical scribe helps a physician combat burnout by eliminating the administrative burden related to EMR charting and data entry post visits. Remote medical scribes empower physicians to:
- Focus completely on the patients and stop worrying about EMR data entry;
- Get detailed medical information of the patient within minutes of the visit;
- Save 5-10 minutes for every patient, and hence, see more patients in a day; and
- Gain quality time and improved engagement with the patients.
Since remote medical scribing brings enhanced efficiency to the clinician’s workflow, allowing him to see more patients in a day with relative ease, it is a decent-paid job. With little experience in hand, a remote medical scribe can earn almost double the salary of a well-experienced medical transcriptionist. Furthermore, the job is immensely satisfying as the scribe directly contributes to improving healthcare delivery and patient welfare, providing a sense of purpose to the professional. But what does it take to be a medical scribe, and how can one get training to become a verified medical scribe? This article provides the answer to all these queries.
A unique profession in many ways, a professional requires distinctive skillset to become a proficient remote medical scribe. We enlist some of the most significant skills that has proven to be beneficial for kickstarting one’s career as a remote medical scribe.
- Educational background to understand medical terms
The most important requirement of working as a medical scribe is having basic knowledge of medicine, human physiology, and anatomy. You need not know everything. But it’s imperative you understand medical jargons, which a doctor might use during his interaction with the patient or while dictating the Physical Examination (PE). Hence, you have a better chance of becoming a scribe if you have earned a graduate degree or diploma in Pharmacy, Biotechnology, or Medicine. Many residential doctors, dentists, and physiotherapists work as remote medical scribes either to gain experience working with a doctor or simply for a decent paycheck.
- Listening and comprehension
Since a remote medical scribe connects with the doctor via telemedicine application for 2-way communication, he might not always experience clear audio quality. Also, one cannot frequently interrupt to ask the doctor what he recommended or what the patient described. Hence, a professional needs to develop listening skills to comprehend what is being said in one go. It’s your listening and comprehension skills that will help you decide which information to note and which to leave. Consequently, it will help you draft notes faster in a succinct way.
- Typing skills and short-term memory
Experienced medical scribes achieve typing speed of over 100 words per minute (WPM) over a period. However, as a beginner, one requires a typing speed of at least 55-60 words per minute. Also, you must sharpen your short-term memory to remember what you’ve heard while you take note of previous information. In short, you should strive towards excellency concerning improving your cognitive ability and enhancing your ear-hand coordination.
- Attention to detail
It’s given that remote medical scribes have to be attentive while listening. However, they have to pay even more attention while writing and proofreading the medical note. It is critical for them to identify any clerical or medical mistakes and then rectify errors by themselves or taking help from the healthcare provider.
- Computer skills
Remote medical scribing involves writing clinical charts for a doctor sitting offshore in front of a computer. Here, the computer is a keyword. You will connect with doctors over a live video or audio call via a telemedicine app. Furthermore, you will have to work on a computer application, such as MS Word, WordPad, or Notepad, to prepare a draft. And not to forget the Electronic Medical Record (EMR), which is the primary tool from where you’d be obtaining information about the patient and to where you’d be saving the medical chart. Hence, you will have to juggle between different apps as you work on entering medical data. In this scenario, advanced typing, data entry skills, and general keyboard shortcuts often come in handy.
- Time management
One must understand that benefits offered by a remote medical scribe to the provider start with saving the doctor’s time. Hence, the scribe must prepare a rough draft before the visit so that he can save 2-3 minutes while making it fair during the clinical encounter. One must learn how to filter out the key medical information from the physician-patient interaction to avoid wasting time writing trivial information. This helps the scribe remain free to take dictation from the provider, if any. Time management skills will help you, as a remote medical scribe, to not fall behind the schedule for the day.
- Understanding the criticality of your role
Remote medical scribes transpire to become the right hand of a doctor. They are responsible to spare doctors from doing any data entry or clerical work and empower them to focus solely on providing healthcare. It implies that a medical scribe directly contributes to providing an enhanced experience to the patient. Furthermore, working with medical prescriptions and data entry is a task of critical affairs. Any mistake can prove to be lethal, costing healthcare provider his license. Hence, a medical scribe must remain sincere towards his duty and understand the criticality of his role.
Getting Scribe Certification
Companies providing transcription and medical scribe services offer an industry-integrated job-oriented training program for professionals to become remote medical scribes. There are other independent or affiliated institutes as well offering the same. Their program includes training modules to help freshers or experienced professionals gain various types of skills and competencies required to excel in remote medical scribing. These are typically four to six-month programs, concentrating on teaching medical terms and typing. They also cover modules for improving your listening skills and verbal and written communication in health care settings. Many of these institutes provide practical experience through internships and paid assignments.
The primary objective of these programs is to create globally accepted Doctor-Ready and Doctor-Approved medical scribes who could work in any company across the scribing industry. You earn a Doctor-Ready certificate when you have successfully gone through the first phase of rigorous training and passed a basic test of medical note-making. During the first phase, you will learn the name of medications, medical terminologies, and basic human anatomy. Further, you will develop the skill of noting down the relevant information from provider-patient interactions while simultaneously listening to them. It implies that you are ready to work with the doctor. But you are not appointed to work with a provider yet.
Doctor-Approved certification is the next and the last step toward becoming a professional medical scribe. During this phase, the training becomes more intense, and the passing criteria become more stringent. Once you have earned a Doctor-Approved certificate for remote medical scribing, you are appointed to a doctor, physician, or nurse practitioner to work with him in real-time or near to real-time.
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.