Dermatologists desperately need scribes – why?

Dermatologists are one of the most busiest specialists and I know a few doctors who see more than 80 patients in a day, stretching between 7 am to 5 pm. More than 50% of the patients would require some procedure like liquid nitrogen therapy, injections, biopsy, excision, etc., performed in the clinic. I am amazed at how dermatologists are able to manage all these, they are the real superheroes. They do all these always with a smile on their faces. It is their passion, obviously.

Advent of EMR has had significant impact on the time spent and interaction between physician and patient. The doctor has to now concentrate on both the patient and on entering details into the EMR at the same time. The usual smile on the doctor’s face has been replaced with a grim and saddening look as he shuttles between the patient and the EMR. Patient looks irritated, and is not sure whether the physician is giving his full attention and care.

Dermatologists, I would say, are the most affected by EMRs, they are not even seeing 50% of the patients they used to see previously. How huge a loss is this, for both the physician and the patient. Also dermatology EMRs are designed in a more complex way, with pictorial representations, and different options to incorporate MACRA/MIPS measures. This has made dermatologists spending more and more time on EMR than any other specialists.

For eg., A dermatologist working from 7 am to 5 pm

  TIME SPENT WITH EACH PATIENT (minutes) TIME SPENT ON EMR (minutes) PER PATIENT NUMBER OF PATIENTS SEEN PER DAY
Before EMR: 5 to 15   80+
After EMR: 3 to 5 10 to 15 40

Dermatologists were desperate to find a solution. And Bang!, it was right before them. Scribes. But where live scribes tagging along can be a great asset to ER physicians, is it the same for a dermatologist? I don’t think so. Patients with skin conditions can become quite apprehensive during physical examination and subsequent discussions when a scribe is tagging along. So live scribe is out of the question. The only solution left was using scribes who can enter the charts into the EMR overnight. The only thing the doctor had to do was dictate and send audios to the scribe, some doctors even prefer to send rough transcripts using a voice recognition software like Dragon.

Dermatologists once again started seeing more than 80 patients in a day with a constant smile on their faces. Thanks to scribes, dermatologists and their patients experience extreme satisfaction in the encounters, not worrying about EMR. I work for a medical scribe services company, Seyyone Software Solutions, India, which has been in existence for nearly two decades. I have had hands-on experience scribing for one such dermatologist from Massachusetts. Now the dermatologist is extremely happy with the scribing experience and is expanding his clinic by adding 6 to 7 dermatologists to the practice. WOW!!! It is my humble opinion that dermatologists, more than any other specialists, desperately need a scribe’s help. What do you think?! Wouldn’t they want to avoid losing 50% revenue per month by just spending about $2000-$3000 per month for a scribe.

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