Working with a scribe improves physician satisfaction

Working with a scribe significantly improves physicians’ overall satisfaction, satisfaction with chart quality and accuracy, and charting efficiency, according to a study published online Sept. 11 in the Annals of Family Medicine.

EMSS Medical Scribes “may have very well saved the clinic by helping with the implementation of the new EMR” says one physician. Medical scribes input patient data in real time to increase physician productivity. PRWeb

Medical Xpress September 27, 2017

Risha Gidwani, Dr.P.H, from Stanford University in California, and colleagues randomized physicians in an academic family medicine clinic to one week with a scribe and then one week without a scribe for the course of one year. Scribes drafted all relevant documentation, which was reviewed by a physician before attestation and signing. Physicians performed all charting duties when working without a scribe.

Scribes appear to be a promising strategy to improve health care efficiency and reduce physician burnout, conclude the authors.

The researchers found that scribes significantly improved all aspects of physician satisfaction, including overall satisfaction with the clinic (odds ratio [OR], 10.75), having enough face time with patients (OR, 3.71), time spent charting (OR, 86.09), chart quality (OR, 7.25), and chart accuracy (OR, 4.61). Scribes did not affect patient satisfaction. They increased the proportion of charts closed within 48 hours (OR, 1.18; P = 0.028).

Spending less time on documentation, the authors note, frees up physicians to pursue direct clinical care, care co-ordination, and teaching activities, which they suggest is likely to help prevent physician burnout. Scribes could complement a high-functioning electronic health record and, until electronic records are redesigned for improved functionality, could provide an immediate solution to the clerical burden they entail.

Source Medical Xpress

Impact of Scribes on Physician Satisfaction, Patient Satisfaction, and Charting Efficiency: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Gidwani R, Nguyen C, Kofoed A, Carragee C, Rydel T, Nelligan I, Sattler A, Mahoney M, Lin S. Ann Fam Med. 2017 Sep;15(5):427-433. doi: 10.1370/afm.2122.

Also see
A new face in your ER: Medical scribes come to Canada in White Coat Black Art, CBC Radio
Is it time to pull the plug on fax machines in medicine? in White Coat Black Art, CBC Radio

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