There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed - Ernest Hemingway
image by: mpclemens
“You’re a scribe? So you just write stuff for doctors?”
If I had a dollar for every time someone used the words “only” and “just” while describing the role of a scribe, I could pay for nursing school. (Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration.)
At the heart of it, our main task is to chart for providers. What I’ve learned in the last 7 months, though, is that the job of a scribe can be much more than that. It all depends on how much you want to put in, how much you want to learn, and how much increasing the productivity of the ED means to you.
When your ED sees over 300 patients in a day, increasing productivity of the ED should mean a lot—and a scribe can help. Daily, a scribe is tracking down EKGs; following up on radiology and lab tests; rounding on patients and offering comfort items; taking messages from nurses; offering to help busier scribes with dictations; helping scribe-less providers with their charts; looking for providers when a consulting doctor calls back; offering cute stuffed animals to pediatric patients, and much more.
Along with assuming scribes don’t do much, I’ve also encountered many people who assume that scribes don’t learn much. Last month at a nursing school information session, I was told that scribing was good experience in terms of “learning how to chart,” but that I should get more experience by volunteering in a hospital to “learn how to deal with patients.”
I volunteered in a hospital for two years and was not allowed to do much besides stocking rooms with supplies, making beds, and retrieving warm blankets. My role as a scribe has introduced me to a world with new opportunities. While, we are legally restricted from touching patients, that doesn’t mean we don’t learn about provider-patient interactions. By shadowing some of the best and brightest doctors and PAs on the job, I have seen what it takes to increase patient satisfaction, to make a patient feel heard and treated. I have seen providers assuage the angriest of patients with quality care and attention.
I will never forget the time I walked into a room with my doctor and a grumpy, 80-something year old Spanish-speaking lady began berating us for making her wait in the waiting room. In his broken Spanish, my doctor patiently explained that it was a very busy day and we were unfortunately holding patients in the ED that were already admitted. As he pleasantly interviewed and assessed her, her deep frown and furrowed brows slowly began to soften. Right before he stepped out of the room, he even earned a big smile and a “muy simpatico, muy simpatico!”
Scribes also learn about the medical decision-making process. By doing MDM dictations for doctors, you quickly begin to recognize the pattern between specific symptoms and certain tests and imaging that are ordered. You learn which symptoms to look for given certain chief complaints. You pick up on which differential diagnoses need to be ruled out.
Even as an aspiring nurse who won’t need to make the same decisions that doctors do, I am learning about my future job through scribing. I spend the majority of my shifts walking alongside or sitting beside providers and they are frequently approached by nurses regarding patient updates, medications, and orders. I am constantly observing what a nurse can and cannot do, when they need to seek advice from a provider, and how they work with providers to deliver the best healthcare possible.
I am grateful for the exposure and knowledge I’ve gained through working as a scribe. Helping out with pelvic exams, sitting in on I&Ds of 25 cm abscesses, and observing a central line placement are a few of the multitude of experiences that are invaluable to me.
Yes, I am “just a scribe,” and I am proud of it. And, my fellow scribes, you should be proud too."
Source: Anonymous, Just a Scribe, the Inside Track, CEP America, May 16, 2016.
Do Doctors Need EHR 'Scribes'?
Is the electronic health record falling short of its promise and contributing to physician burnout because it saddles doctors with ever-increasing administrative tasks?
Hate Dealing With an EHR? Use a Scribe and Profits Increase
A growing number of doctors are saying, "Enough!" They are hiring medical scribes to enter notes, test results, and other data into the software while the doctors devote their full attention to their patients. When the visit is done, so is the patient chart, ready for doctor review.
Medical scribes lack consensus on training, certification
Certification of medical scribes does not satisfy concerns about whether scribes should be allowed to use computerized order entry as part of the meaningful-use program for electronic health records, the federal government says.
Meanwhile, the growing medical scribe industry has yet to come together on a single broadly accepted training and certification process, though industry leaders say they will eventually do so.
The disturbing confessions of a medical scribe
Sounds great, right? The winning combination of EMRs and scribes. The road to increased efficiency, increased Press-Ganey scores, increased billing accuracy, increased fraud, increased profits for the administration. Happiness abounds.
How many of you missed the “increased fraud”?
Using Medical Scribes in a Physician Practice
The time providers spend during a patient visit capturing and entering data rather than focusing on the patient can be a hindrance to the quality of care. One current solution gaining popularity is the use of scribes. Scribes can provide many benefits to the practice of medicine, ultimately impacting the overall quality of healthcare delivery.
American College of Medical Scribe Specialists
The American College of Medical Scribe Specialists (ACMSS) is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization devoted to advancing the education, proficiency and professional standing of medical scribes, enabling both education-to-certification and employment-to-certification pathways. We are the only governing body charged with upholding the standards of excellence for certification, accreditation, training, and evaluation.
SCRIBE is the premier resource for all things scribe. Here you will find topics related to healthcare, scribes, and issues affecting our industry.
Clinical Scribes LLC is a regional company that hires, trains, and manages reliable and highly trained medical scribes for physicians in clinics, urgent cares, emergency departments and hospitals. Our mission is to improve the lifestyle of healthcare providers by reducing the time spent in medical documentation.
Elite Medical Scribes
Elite Medical Scribes is the nation’s leading provider of fully integrated multiplatform scribe services.
At PhysAssist Scribes, we're true to our name: Every scribe program we build is designed to provide maximum assistance to you, the physician. Our turnkey scribe services have helped emergency departments coast to coast improve productivity, boost profitability and regain patient focus. With our customized programs, you minimize potential risks while maximizing your efficiency.
We’ve made it our mission to build a better medical scribe company and make the modern medical team work better. Physicians waste too much time on non-medical tasks. We think you should let doctors be doctors.
Scribe Solutions offers emergency department medical scribes to allow the ER physician to spend less time on clerical duties and more time caring for patients. Our clinical information managers (scribes) provide specific emergency department services to aid doctors in documentation and minimize their clerical duties.
We offer "full turn key" professional medical scribe programs for our clients. We will recruit, hire, train, manage, monitor and deliver a medical scribe program that is of the highest quality and un-parallel to any other in the industry.
ScribeMD is a company that works to establish and manage Scribe programs for emergency departments.