Adoption of EMRs Creates Demand for New Healthcare Job of “Scribes”

Clinical pathology laboratories may soon handle lab test orders entered by scribes on behalf of physicians

Along with the growing adoption of electronic medical record (EMR) systems comes robust demand for a new healthcare job: scribes! That is a bit ironic, since many advocates of EMRs believed that physicians would do the primary entry. In fact, the acronym CPOE (computerized physician order entry) was coined to describe this process.

The trend of hiring scribes to interpose between physicians and EMRs is an unanticipated consequence of wider adoption of EMR and EHR (electronic health record) systems. Wider utilization of scribes will directly affect clinical laboratories and pathology groups, because the scribe generally becomes the individual to place orders for clinical laboratory tests at the direction of physicians and track receipt of the lab test results into the EMR.