The Cost of Going Without Medical Scribes

The Cost of Going Without Medical Scribes

Most healthcare organizations already understand the significant positive impact that medical scribes have on the lives of patients and clinicians alike, but the costs and effort necessary to find and employ qualified candidates makes some of them hesitant to develop scribing programs for their locations. Unfortunately, these providers actually lose hundreds of thousands of dollars every year they go without medical scribes. Here at Elite Medical Scribes, we provide quality scribing services for dozens of reputable client partners across the nation, increasing their productivity and profitability at the same time. Today we’ll be discussing the substantial benefits that healthcare systems, physician groups, and hospitals stand to gain by utilizing medical scribes.

Do Healthcare Organizations Lose Money by Hiring Medical Scribes?

Annual scribe expenses can be intimidating. In fact, large emergency department scribe programs can cost just under $200,000 to employ each year. It’s not surprising that some providers fall into the trap of believing that they’ll save money by doing without a medical scribe. However, medical scribes actually increase the yearly income for their assigned organization. The only question is, by how much?

Let’s do a few calculations to determine how much annual income an average hospital gains by using medical scribes for its emergency department.

Operating Expenses

1: Physician coverage at a mid-sized hospital’s emergency department is about 41 hours per day. However, after implementing a medical scribe program, this number decreases to 32 hours per day. At $220/hr., plus malpractice insurance, the hospital saves $750,000 per year on physician coverage.

2: Mid-level coverage is approximately 25 hours per day at an average emergency department. Employing scribes increases this figure to 31 hours per day. At $80/hr., plus malpractice insurance, this costs the hospital $175,000 per year.

3: Annual scribe expenses for emergency departments totals right around $185,000.

Total: $750,000 – ($175,000 + $185,000) = $390,000 saved on yearly operating expenses.

Net Patient Revenue

1: Relative Value Units (RVUs) increase on average from 5.06 per hour to 5.58 when hospitals make use of medical scribes, increasing compensation for physicians.

2: Revenue earned by the hospital’s emergency department increases by 10.3% with medical scribes.

Total: Increased RVUs result in higher payments from insurance companies which in turn results in the hospital earning an additional $300,000 per year in net patient revenue.

Overall Net Gain: $390,000 + $300,000 = $690,000 every single year!

As you can see, incorporating medical scribes into your healthcare organization results in significant revenue increases and operating expense savings. But finances aren’t the only consideration you should take into account when determining whether to utilize scribes for your medical practice. Implementing a medical scribe program at your location will provide two additional benefits that you would be remiss to ignore or undervalue: increased patient and clinician satisfaction.

Patient Satisfaction

Maintaining high patient satisfaction is critically important for any healthcare provider. It ensures that current patients will continue to choose your organization for their healthcare needs and drastically increase their likelihood to recommend you to friends and loved ones. Consequently, not prioritizing this important component of your service will result in lost business and income.

Hiring medical scribes for your organization drastically decreases the amount of medical documentation your clinicians need to complete. This allows your team members to commit the entirety of their focus and attention to enhancing the treatment of the people in their care. By taking advantage of medical scribe services, your physicians will have the time and energy to thoroughly listen to and communicate with their patients. Not only does this make your patients feel more comfortable and secure, but it can also motivate them to be more active in their own treatment and stick to prescribed regimens. In fact, a recent study found that patients who feel respected and connected with their doctors are more likely to research their medical conditions on their own time and engage in self-management of their persistent conditions.

When you hire medical scribes for your location, you foster these incredibly beneficial relationships between patients and providers, simultaneously increasing the quality of your organization’s care and ensuring future business in the process.

Clinician Satisfaction

Keeping your current clinicians passionate and engaged in their work is another vital step in supporting your organization’s profitability and success. That means minimizing the amount of busywork they have to trudge through while maximizing the number of opportunities they have to interact with their patients. Unsurprisingly, very few physicians are thrilled at the prospect of slotting away a third of their day to fill out medical charts. The tiresome and monotonous task of completing electronic health records (EHRs) forces clinicians away from their most important and fulfilling duty: taking care of their patients. Assigning medical scribes to members of your healthcare team allows them to dedicate much more time and effort towards patients care. With the help of a scribe, most physicians reduce their individual chart time from six minutes to less than one minute. Furthermore, utilizing medical scribes increases the accuracy and thoroughness of completed documents, further increasing the quality of care for patients.

Medical scribes make shifts considerably more enjoyable for clinicians, but scribes also help to reduce the amount of overtime they are forced to take on. Without a scribe, physicians are forced to either stay late to complete the documentation from home. Documentation assistance from a medical scribe allows these medical professionals to get back to their families earlier in the day and leave the stress and responsibilities of their job behind, enhancing clinician satisfaction and work-life balance.

Medical Director Testimonials

Healthcare organizations across the U.S. are already benefiting from the use of medical scribes. Still not convinced that they will benefit your team? Look through this real testimonial about our scribing services from a former medical director at Mayo Clinic.

“From initiating the process, hiring and training the scribes and throughout our relationship, Elite Medical Scribes has provided quality coordination of our scribe program. It has made an immense and immediate impact on the efficiency of our doctors. More importantly, patients and doctors both love it! Having scribes is proving to be the holy grail of improved patient satisfaction, improved reimbursement and improved doctor efficiency and satisfaction.”

Christopher Ott, MD
Former Medical Director
Mayo Clinic Health System

Here’s another assessment of Elite’s performance from the medical director of O’Connor Hospital:

“Elite Medical Scribes has been a great asset to our ER physicians. Although most of us were very skeptical of using scribes, we have quickly realized the benefit. Elite Medical Scribes has done an outstanding job. The integration was seamless, training was thorough, scribes are very reliable, and they adapt to all of our needs. Using scribes has increased our clinical efficiency and accuracy of charting, and it allows us to spend more time with patients. We save countless hours on chart completion. Now that we have begun to use scribes, we will never go back!”

Meenesh Bhimani, MD
Medical Director
O’Connor Hospital

See additional testimonials about Elite Medical Scribes from family physicians, surgeons, practice managers, and medical directors.

Choosing the Best Medical Scribe Provider for Your Organization

Now that you fully understand the value that medical scribes can bring to your healthcare organization, it’s time to explore your options and choose a scribe vendor. Some programs only offer scribes with general training and knowledge, making them inadequate for assisting clinicians in specialized fields like cardiology or orthopedics. Others fail to teach the scribes they train about your organization’s culture, forcing you to commit precious time and resources to properly incorporate them into your medical team.

At Elite Medical Scribes, we offer scribe programs across more than 30 medical specialties, ranging from family medicine to urgent care. We tailor every nuance of our services to match your organization’s specific requirements and preferences. Elite also ensures that all of our scribes are fully committed to your medical team’s success by thoroughly briefing them on your requirements, mission and values before they arrive. They come fully prepared with the medical knowledge and skills needed to effectively alleviate the documentation burdens of your team. This allows your clinicians to spend less time completing charts and more time connecting with patients to provide optimal treatment and care.

Best of all, we continue to support the performance of our expert scribes for the duration of their careers. All Elite scribes undergo regular assessments, reviews, and several continuing education programs to guarantee that they’re properly versed in the best and most recent scribing techniques and practices. No other scribe vendor can match our unwavering commitment to providing optimum medical scribe services for our client partners.

Elite Medical Scribes: The Nation’s Highest Quality Scribe Services

If you’re interested in adding your organization to our ever-growing list of reputable partners, then contact Elite Medical Scribes today. We’ll work with you to assemble a medical scribe program that perfectly suits your team’s unique needs. Thank you for your time, and we look forward to hearing from you soon!

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