Scribes do much more than transcription. Learn about more physician scribe benefits here.
The United States continues to face a horrible projected physician workforce shortage over the next decade. The US Department of Health and Human Services projects a shortfall of 54,100 to 139,000 physicians by 2033 and a shortfall of 21,400 to 55,200 primary care physicians by 2033. This shortage is due to aging physicians and physician burnout. Without a change in the burnout epidemic, the numbers can be more catastrophic.
There are a number of tools healthcare administrators can implement that can help to alleviate the number 1,2 & 3 causes of burnout–the administrative, bureaucratic tasks, lack of respect from administrators/employers & too many hours at work. One of the top ways to reduce these 3 issues is with medical scribes.
When healthcare administrators remove their stigma about physician burnout and “hear” the physicians’ cries for help and find the tool to fix the issue, it can lead to physicians feeling that they are respected. Some administrators feel Medical Scribes are only “live transcribers.” This is far from the truth.
Medical scribes do much more than only transcribe what the physicians say. Medical scribes are like personal assistants to physicians. The Medical Scribe begins their day by pre-charting the patients for the day, looking for relevant labs, and radiology reports, and relaying any pertinent information to the physician. Throughout the workday, the Scribe focuses on capturing the much-needed information from each patient encounter and inputs it into the EMR system. The Medical Scribe can answer phones, scan paperwork into the EMR, and do other administrative tasks as well as look for pending patient results as needed throughout their shift. Towards the end of the Scribe’s shift, they will be finishing up the charts, and reviewing any pending items or questions they have with the physician. This type of working relationship allows for higher performing and efficient physicians.
By allowing physicians to focus on their patients, it can help to:
- Decrease workload
- Increase efficiency while allowing physicians to get home on time
- Improve quality of care
- Improve patient outcomes and satisfaction
- Decrease physician burnout
Medical Scribes are not the “solve all” for every burnout problem, but they are an essential piece to the puzzle of burnout!
 Association of American Medical Colleges. The Complexities of Physician Supply and Demand: Projections from 2018 to 2033: Final Report.