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.
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In an effort to ease the transition from paper charting to the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and improve provider efficiency, District Medical Group (DMG) has added an ongoing medical scribe program at two Phoenix children's clinics.
Scribes provided by Emergency Medicine Scribe Systems (EMSS) will assist doctors with charting at Children's Rehabilitative Services (CRS) and Arizona Children's Center. Both facilities provide specialized medical services to children with serious health conditions. DMG is using a scribe service to help doctors learn the new EMR software, according to Peg Loos, COO and Chief Compliance Officer at DMG.
"We wanted to have scribes in place to relieve some of the anxiety that surrounds implementing the EMR," says Loos. "I think it helped tremendously reduce the stress level and increase overall efficiency and patient satisfaction. Many of our physicians love having scribes and said they wish they could have them in their other offices too."
Although EMRs are designed to improve the quality and accuracy of documentation, many doctors find EMR use distracts them from patient care and slows down their workflow.
Medical scribes will now chart in the EMR as the doctor treats the patient.
Dr. Louis Vu, Orthopedic Surgeon at CRS, says EMSS medical scribes have provided noticeable improvements for physician workflow. They've also virtually eliminated transcription costs while at the same time improving the revenue cycle.
"Scribes may have very well saved the clinic by helping with the implementation of the new EMR" says Dr. Vu. "Having EMSS here definitely allowed the clinic to get back up to its running speed in less than the anticipated amount of time."
The average physician spends roughly one-third of their overall shift on documentation, according to a study published in The New York Times. Doctors with scribes say they have better interaction with their patients and spend less time reviewing charts after their shift.
"Having scribes performing live transcription while on site provides the physicians with necessary real-time feedback," notes Dr. Vu. "Before scribes, I would spend an average of two hours dictating charts after seeing patients."
EMSS Implementation Coordinator Katy Coyne says hospitalists and outpatient providers benefit greatly from having scribes.
"Specialists now have time to focus on patient care rather than focusing on charting and documentation," says Coyne. "Scribes aid in the provider's ability to keep on schedule and results in decreasing the amount of time patients wait for appointments."
Emergency Medicine Scribe Systems (EMSS) is a nationwide scribe service formed in 2005 by practicing emergency physicians. EMSS hires, trains, and manages scribe programs for Emergency Departments, hospitalists, and outpatient clinics. For more information, visit http://www.emscribes.com.