Near Real Time Transcription – An Alternate for live scribes

Physicians who are opting for medical scribes rather than transcription have just two options, one a live scribe or a virtual scribe. Though some doctors who are more computer savvy manage to work around the difficulties faced with using a scribe, many doctors who are not computer savvy are facing a lot of difficulties with the use of scribes.

The difficulties that may arise with using scribes are

Live Scribe: The physical presence of the scribe may make patients uncomfortable and they may hesitate to discuss the details fully with the physician. The physician has to be mindful of the presence of scribe and would have to make a conscious effort to give hints to scribe for creating notes while speaking with the patient. This may be easier for a few physicians but most physicians find it hard and sometimes they may get away with the issue at hand during conversing with the patient and totally forget about the scribe and the scribe would end up losing vital information. Also cost of hiring a live scribe is much higher when compared to a virtual scribe.

Virtual Scribe: The physician needs to be mindful of the fact that a scribe is listening to the conversation and has to make sure he is closer to the mic whenever he is conversing with the patient. Also the doctor has to make sure to maintain the connectivity with the scribe, switching it on when talking to the patient and switching it off when not needed. The doctor has to speak to the scribe in between patients so that the scribe can make any corrections, also there should be a mechanism where the scribe should be able to speak to the doctor whenever there is any clarification needed urgently before the patient leaves. The physician has to be mindful of the presence of scribe and would have to make a conscious effort to give hints to scribe for creating notes while speaking with the patient.

Though theoretically, using a scribe, either live or virtual, may enhance the face time with the patient and save doctor’s time on EMR, not all doctors can effectively use scribes. Doctors who are not techno savvy and who just want to concentrate on patients rather than mindfully using words to hint the scribe cannot use a scribe effectively and they would end up losing more time and seeing less patients, even after using a scribe. The only way such doctors can benefit is the alternate method of near-real-time transcription, which is a very effective solution for this.

What is near-real-time transcription? The scribe will not be directly listening to the conversation so the doctor shall not worry about what he is talking or whether he is near a recording device. He can fully concentrate on the patient. After the patient leaves the room, the doctor can in one or two minutes dictate the whole note into a voice recorder and send it across to the scribe via internet. The scribe will be awaiting for the dictation and as soon as he gets the dictations he will start entering the note into EMR. At the same time, the doctor would have started seeing the next patient. The scribe will finish the note of the previous patient before the doctor ends the consult with the next patient. Thus the cycle goes on. This way there will be no interruption for the doctor or the scribe throughout the day. All the patients’ notes done in the first half can be checked and discussed with the scribe in just less than 15 minutes during lunch time and the second half patients’ notes at the end of the day. As an alternate, all the patients’ notes can be checked at the end of the day and the doctor has to spend just less than 30 minutes with the scribe and he can digitally sign off all notes and can be on his way home with no notes pending.

We find this method particularly appealing to doctors who find it more comfortable dictating the notes after freely conversing with the patients. We, at Seyyone Software Solutions, a transcription and EMR-centric services providing company over the past 19 years, have seen many of our doctors preferring to switch to this unique method of scribing rather than live scribing. To add to the sweetness, this costs much less than live or virtual scribe. We are hoping this would be the ultimate method that many physicians would eventually settle down after going through virtual scribe and live scribe experiences, since it is hassle-free.

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