When utilized properly, medical scribes substantially increase the efficiency and productivity of their assigned clinicians, allowing them to see and care for more patients throughout the day. Consequently, by partnering with a high-quality medical scribe service provider, hospital administrators can increase the profitability of each physician on their medical team, boosting the net gain for their facility in the process. Today, we’ll be discussing the massive financial returns that medical scribes can produce for healthcare organizations and the best ways to maximize their ROI.
A Study on Medical Scribe Effectiveness and Profitability
In 2014, the University of Massachusetts Medical School performed a study on the effectiveness and profitability of medical scribes by incorporating four part-time scribes into an academic family medicine practice consisting of seven physicians. By monitoring surveys and time-tracking data, researchers assessed the impact that the scribes had on physician office hours and productivity, time spent on documentation, perceptions of work-life balance, and physician and patient satisfaction.
By the conclusion of the 6-month scribe implementation period, researchers found that the use of medical scribes in a busy academic primary care practice had a substantial impact on the amount of time that family medicine physicians spent on charting. In fact, the study revealed that physicians with scribe support spent an average of 5.1 fewer hours per week on documentation, while various measures of productivity revealed increases ranging from 9.2 to 28.8 percent.
Furthermore, surveys assessing the work-life balance of each participating clinician revealed that the aid that they received from their medical scribes improved their perception of their administrative burdens (and paperwork related to their work) and decreased their perception of the extent to which work encroached on or detracted from their personal lives. Additionally, survey data from 313 patients at the time of their ambulatory visit with a medical scribe present revealed a high level of comfort, and surveys completed by physicians after 55 clinical sessions revealed good to excellent ratings more than 90% of the time.
Most importantly, when the results of the pilot study were annualized, they were projected to generate an additional $168,600 per year for the practice, more than twice the $79,500 annual cost of two full-time equivalent scribes, resulting in a 112 percent ROI. The study also notes that the improvements that medical scribes have on the morale and work-life balance of their physicians have positive implications on retention, likely increasing the the long-term, overall ROI that medical scribes offer.
As you can see from the results of this study, medical scribe programs can more than pay for themselves. In fact, depending on which scribe service you choose for your organization, a full return on investment can often be achieved by seeing just one or two additional patients each day. Simply put, employing medical scribes for your healthcare team is one of the most effective ways for your facility to increase the quality of care for patients, retain current clinicians, attract new employees (many practitioners favor employers that utilize medical scribes because of the superior work-life balance they offer), and boost overall revenue.
Choosing the Right Scribe Service to Optimize Your ROI
Your organization’s ability to maximize its return on investment with medical scribes hinges greatly on the quality and capabilities of the scribe service provider that you partner with. The best way to facilitate a high ROI is by choosing a medical scribe program that offers the following:
1. Optimized and secure technology
Bear in mind that not all medical scribe organizations utilize high-quality documentation equipment and technology. For example, many transcription companies make use of outdated programs and rely solely on audio feeds to observe and document patient encounters. As a result, choosing one of these inferior services for your clinicians may force your organization to suffer through a variety of technical and performance issues. Documentation service providers that don’t keep up with the newest technology innovations and best practices will slow your clinicians down (and decrease your ROI) by making documentation errors and taking significantly longer to submit patient charts.
2. Fully certified medical scribes
A number of medical scribe services employ unqualified candidates (who are often former transcriptionists) for their virtual scribe positions. Unless a scribe receives extensive training and gains experience in the field of medical documentation, they won’t be capable of managing their intensive workload and responsibilities, particularly if they are assigned to a clinician who works in a specialized field of medicine. Don’t be fooled. Under-trained medical scribes may be inexpensive, but they are also highly prone to inefficiency and making documentation errors, two critical traits that are guaranteed to reduce your ROI.
3. Scribes that are HIPAA-compliant
It’s important to ensure that the medical scribe service you partner with is fully aware of and compliant with the latest rules, policies, and regulations regarding the documentation and communication of sensitive patient data. It might seem like a good idea to save money by working with the cheapest documentation company available, but violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) will subject your organization to serious (and expensive) legal and patient satisfaction ramifications.
4. Qualified scribes for specialized clinicians
In order for medical scribes to effectively complete their tasks, they need to understand and keep up with the complex terminology that their clinicians use to communicate. A majority of scribe services only offer training for scribes in a handful of medical specialties (if any), making it difficult for healthcare organizations to find expertly trained scribes for some of their practitioners, including surgeons, pediatricians, and radiologists. Partnering with a scribe company that can’t accommodate the specialized needs of your practitioners will force them to work with scribes who can’t fully comprehend and document their interactions with their patients, resulting in electronic health record (EHR) documentation errors and reduced productivity.
Why Elite’s Medical Scribes Are the Best in the Industry
Because of our fervent pursuit of innovation and unrivaled client results, Elite Medical Scribes is the nation’s preeminent provider of the highest quality medical scribe services for healthcare systems, physician groups, and independent practices. We work with some of the country’s most respected educational institutions to recruit driven candidates who are fiercely passionate about making a difference in the world and gaining invaluable experience by assisting clinicians in real medical environments.
Throughout the duration of their employment, each Elite scribe participates in regular reviews, assessments, and continuous education programs to ensure that they provide unparalleled service to their assigned clinicians and stay up to date on the most recent industry policies, rules, and regulations. Unlike many of our competitors, all Elite scribes (including both our on-site and virtual scribes) are fully certified and HIPAA-compliant, guaranteeing that your organization’s ROI won’t suffer due to costly documentation errors or legal fees.
We also take extensive steps to ensure that our medical scribes can quickly and seamlessly integrate into any medical team. That’s why we expose each scribe that we employ on the specific mission, requirements, and goals of their assigned healthcare organization before they begin working. Our medical scribes will thrive at your organization because they will understand your best practices and the needs of your medical team from the moment they arrive, allowing your clinicians to dedicate all of their valuable time and energy to patients rather than scribe briefings.
Furthermore, Elite Medical Scribes is the only scribe company that offers customized training programs to more than 40 medical specialties, resulting in smoother implementations, improved workflows, and unmatched support for our client partners. Each program covers the specific terminology, examination techniques, medications, differential diagnoses, ICD-10 codes, and billing and coding practices that pertain to its respective field, allowing us to offer medical scribes that specialize in pediatrics, family medicine, general surgery, urgent care, and many more. No matter which fields of medicine your clinicians specialize in, Elite can provide an expert team of medical scribes to meet their needs.
Last but not least, Elite Medical Scribes is fully committed to staying at the forefront of scribing technology and software innovations. Our cutting-edge programs and tools were designed from the ground up to provide enhanced scribe program management, instantaneous data results, and rigorous quality assurance. Imhotep, our advanced proprietary scribe management software, is specifically designed to optimize the delivery of scribe services to healthcare facilities in any part of the country. It can be used to streamline the interpretation of performance metrics as well, allowing us to focus our training on the aspects of patient care that matter most to each individual client.
Partner With Elite Medical Scribes Today
At Elite Medical Scribes, we take pride in achieving fast and outstanding financial returns for our clients. Thanks to our dedicated team of healthcare experts and the outstanding results we’ve generated for past clients, our organization has become the preferred scribe service for a number of distinguished healthcare organizations. Be sure to check out our Testimonials page to read accounts from some of the clinicians and medical directors we’ve worked with over the years.
Call or message us today if you’re interested in hiring Elite’s medical scribes for your healthcare organization or want more information on medical scribes and the substantial benefits they can provide for your clinicians and patients. We look forward to hearing from you soon.