Medical scribes are an incredible asset for any physician. These documentation experts are specially trained to assist clinicians with filling out electronic health records (EHRs) and alleviating their administrative responsibilities in order to facilitate increased patient interaction. Consequently, healthcare organizations that incorporate scribes into their medical teams see a sharp improvement in documentation accuracy, productivity, efficiency, and work-life balance of their clinicians. To provide maximum convenience and flexibility for client partners, some of the best medical scribe programs even offer virtual scribing services. Today we’ll be exploring some of the key advantages of virtual scribes to help you determine whether to implement them into your organization.
First and foremost, let’s run through the process of how virtual scribes work with their assigned clinicians during each patient interaction.
How Do Virtual Scribes Work in a Clinic Setting?
The tasks of virtual scribes are almost identical to those of traditional scribes. After all, virtual scribes perform the same duties as they would in person, including the completion of patient encounter documentation and making improvements to billing & coding. However, unlike traditional medical scribes, all of these responsibilities are completed remotely with the help of cutting-edge technology. The average outpatient visit follows three basic steps.
1. Preparing for the Patient Encounter
Your clinician’s medical assistant, or other staff member, will escort the patient into the examination room to update their medical history in the EHR. Meanwhile, their assigned virtual scribe will login to a secure and HIPAA-compliant voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) that will be connected to your facility. From there, the scribe will have access to the clinic’s EHR and will be able to look through patient’s files to gain familiarity with their conditions and medical needs. Once this process is complete, the clinician will enter the room and initiate contact with the patient.
2. Documentation During the Patient Encounter
As your clinician verbalizes his or her findings and interactions with the patient, the virtual scribe will quickly and effectively document the entire patient encounter, imputing all relevant data into the EHR. As a result, your clinicians spend 100 percent of their time on the patient and alleviating any medical concerns or symptoms they have. Unlike transcription services (who rely solely on captured audio), virtual scribes have access to a live video feed of the patient interaction, guaranteeing that no essential details or steps are missed.
3. Reviewing Documentation Following the Patient Encounter
Once the appointment is complete, your clinician will review the charts that their scribe has created, discussing any edits or additions that need to be made and assigning any necessary referral letters. Your clinician will then sign off on the charts and his or her medical scribe will complete any additional tasks they are given.
Now that you understand how virtual scribes interact with clinicians, we can explore some of the invaluable benefits they provide for their assigned medical experts, patients, and healthcare organizations.
The Benefits of Virtual Medical Scribes
- Increased Clinician Satisfaction and Productivity
Many people underestimate the overwhelming strain that EHRs place on clinicians, especially those who forget that every single patient they treat must have their data recorded into the system. Without the assistance of a medical scribe, all of this documentation must be completed by a single clinician between patient interactions and daily responsibilities. In many cases, physicians are forced to stay after their shift to complete this documentation or take their work home with them, sacrificing invaluable time spent with their families and loved ones. It’s not difficult to see how this demanding workload can cause these medical experts to lose enthusiasm for their work. In severe cases, this monotonous documentation can cause clinicians to seek out other professional opportunities at organizations that take active steps to improve their work-life balance through medical scribe services.
A recent study from Health Affairs examined how physicians split their time between desk work and interacting with patients. Approximately 31 million EHR transactions were gathered (from 2011 to 2014) from 471 physicians in primary care. The study suggested that 34 percent of the time that physicians log is committed to progress notes, meaning that scribe assistance could help to reduce time spent filling out EHRs and combat clinician burnout while dramatically increasing their productivity.
Clinicians can specialize in a veritable tide of different subjects and procedures. However, there is one trait the unifies them all: an unwavering passion for patient care. With the help of virtual medical scribes, physicians can commit more time and energy to taking care of their patients, allowing them to focus on the aspect of their job that they love instead of being weighed down by tedious administrative tasks.
Both traditional and virtual scribes can be incredibly effective in their roles. Virtual scribes utilize video technology to capture and accurately record each patient interaction into the EHR. Consequently, if their clinicians fail to vocalize a process or finding, these documentation specialists will be able to account for it and complete their EHRs with perfect accuracy. This makes virtual scribes more effective in their roles and significantly less prone to error compared to transcription scribes.
- Improved Patient Comfort and Satisfaction
The world of healthcare is incredibly competitive, which is why it’s imperative to ensure that your patients are satisfied with the care that your medical team provides. Insufficient effort put into improving or maintaining patient satisfaction could result in valuable business being lost to one of your many competitors. Now that we’ve discussed how clinicians with documentation assistance can dedicate more energy towards their work, it’s easy to see how patients benefit from the impact of medical scribes. Patients want to feel a strong personal connection with their doctors, and it’s almost impossible to facilitate the growth of these important relationships when you clinicians are bogged down by computer work.
Acquiring virtual scribes for your clinicians can also have a superb impact on the retention of your patients. After all, satisfaction with the doctor-patient relationship is a key factor in a person’s decision to join and stay with a specific healthcare organization.
The Drawbacks of Virtual Medical Scribes
If you choose to partner with a high-quality medical scribe provider, there should be no significant downsides to working with virtual scribes. At Elite Medical Scribes, our virtual scribes are given all of the specialized training and undergo the same intensive evaluations as our traditional medical scribes. However, some businesses claim to offer virtual scribe services without keeping up on the latest technology and hiring the best documentation specialists.
If you choose to work with a provider that uses outdated or insufficient programs, then your clinicians could be subjected to frequent interruptions and technical issues. Additionally, many transcription companies take several hours (or even days) to submit completed patient charts after the visit (slowing your organization down in the process), and several organizations employ unqualified candidates for their virtual scribe positions, severely inhibiting efficiency and productivity. That’s why it’s so important to choose a medical scribe service that is fully committed to staying ahead of the curve with the best technology and employees.
Elite’s Virtual Medical Scribes
Here at Elite Medical Scribes, we take pride in providing the best virtual scribe services in the industry. Using advanced technology, Elite is capable of offering virtual scribes for any medical facility in the nation. We work with some of the most reputable and respected educational institutions in the country to recruit the best and brightest scribes to assist our client partners. Furthermore, our virtual scribes undergo the same extensive training and continual development programs as our on-site scribe teams, ensuring that your clinicians receive unrivaled support. Most importantly, we stay at the forefront of technological advancements to mitigate the potential for technical issues and errors.
When you partner with Elite Medical Scribes, your medical team will have access to an expertly trained team of virtual scribes 24/7. Our unparalleled technical infrastructure and The Elite Academy training program make us the best provider of virtual scribes in the nation. Furthermore, Elite’s virtual scribing services allow clinicians to use optimized live voice and video streams to communicate with their scribes and convey information about their patients, maximizing convenience and ease of use.
Elite’s virtual medical scribe program offers:
- Cutting-Edge technology
- 24-Hour Coverage
- Certified Elite Scribes
- National Coverage
- Flexible Scheduling
Hire Elite Virtual Scribes for Your Clinicians Today
If you’re interested in taking advantage of the phenomenal virtual scribe services that Elite offers, then be sure to contact us today. We look forward to working with you!