Medical Scribes Move Outside the ER to Help Clinicians in Other Healthcare Settings Make the Switch From Paper Charts to EHRs

Scribe-assisted physicians say their productivity is back to normal after plummeting with connection to an EHR and have time to spare

One unintended consequence of the federal program to encourage hospitals and physicians to adopt and use electronic health record (EHRS) systems is the creation of a new category of healthcare worker. Today, a growing number of hospitals and medical groups are hiring medical scribes.

Medical scribes are trained individuals who document physician-patient encounters in real-time while a physician is examining the patient. Dark Daily was one of the first to call attention to this new healthcare profession. Medical scribes got their start several years ago working in emergency rooms (ER) to help increase ER physician productivity [See Dark Daily: Adoption of EMRs Creates Demand for New Healthcare Job of ‘Scribes’].

Now, thanks in part to $15.5 billion in federal funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, medical scribes are assisting physicians outside the ER. They can be found with doctors making hospital rounds and in medical practices, entering patient medical data into EHRs while physicians are examining or interacting with patients, noted a report published in Modern Healthcare. (more…)