In addition to the white paper on our website available for download entitled “EMR Scribes: Real-Time Tech Support Boosts Physician Productivity & Reduces Paper Care Hassles,” we would like to highlight and summarize a few more papers that discuss medical scribes in more depth:
1) American College of Emergency Physicians’ “Use of Scribes” This information paper discusses the role of scribes in EDs, scribe training, the business case for using scribes, and case studies from hospital groups having designed and implemented their own in-house scribe programs. Quick, easy read at 8 pages.
2) The Governance Institute’s “ER Scribes Bring Quality to EHR Program” Another paper looking at the benefits of a scribe program within an ED. This paper profiles Tri-City Hospital District’s (San Diego, CA area) challenges when it found a significant physician productivity drop once they implement their EHR. Also quick and easy-to-read at 6 pages.
3) The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine’s “Impact of Scribes on Performance Indicators in the Emergency Department” Back to the quick and easy-to-read at 5 pages. This brief paper’s conclusion reports that ED scribes are associated with an increase of 2.4 billed RVUs per hour.
4) The American College for Emergency Physicians’s report “Focus On: The Use of Scribes in the Emergency Room” Available only online, the report details what a scribe does in an ED, costs and benefits, and outlines a case study at a suburban ED.
5) The National Research Council’s “Computational Technology for Effective Health Care: Immediate Steps and Strategic Directions” While this one is not so easy-to-read at 100+ pages, the paper’s section “Crossing the Health Care IT Chasm” (pp. 18, 37-41) is worth it. The section details challenges of implementing an EMR in your clinic or hospital. Here’s a passage recommending a scribe-like tool/feature to assist physicians with charting:
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) has released a report for physicians considering using medical scribes – be they on-site or virtual medical scribes.
“Automated full capture of physician-patient interactions. Such capture would release clinician time for more productive uses and help to ensure more complete and timely patient records. Some of the important dimensions in this problem domain include real-time transcription and interpretation of the dialog between patient and provider, summarization of physical interactions between patient and provider based on the interpretation of images recorded by various cameras in the care providing room (subject to appropriate privacy safeguards), and correlation of the information contained in the audio and visual transcripts.”