The Advent of Medical Scribes

It started as a mutually beneficial arrangement for the medical student who acted as a scribe and the physician, and now the physicians are looking at scribes as an essential part of their work force. Most of the physicians agree that they hate the EHR/EMR system over the previous transcription system. The main reason for this being the physicians are finding it harder and harder that they have to spend more time and energy filling in the details into EHR/EMR system and the practices are pushing them to do it more promptly and quickly so that the billing goes quick and smooth. The big loss for the physicians is that they are only able to see 60% to 70% of patients during the allotted time. When the novel idea of medical students acting as scribe to get hands-on experience was developed, it made the physicians think that they can use it as a regular practice which will allow them to see more patients. So they started employing nursing staff or transcriptionists to act as their scribes. The only problem is the cost was very high. The employed staff is highly skilled in medicine and EMRs, so they had to be paid more. But still physicians were willing to do this because it reduced much of their stress and allowed them to concentrate more on patients.

Finding skilled scribes was becoming more and more difficult in the present scenario because of the high cost and less resources. So the physicians were looking at other options. The only other option available to them was remote scribing. This way, the scribe does not need to be present there physically with the physician. The scribe can just listen to the conversation via some messenger service like Skype, Yahoo over a PC or a mobile and can just enter the details to the EMR from a remote location. This was less costly and it avoided the awkwardness of having somebody else in the room while examining the patient. There are a lot of scribing companies which provide either live physical scribe or remote scribe according to the physician’s requirement.

Since it was possible to do it from a remote location, scribing was experimented from remote countries like India, and it was an immediate success due to the highly skilled and affordable workforce down here. Now most of the practices have begun to opt for remote medical scribes from India and India has been providing the services on a regular basis with her vast experience in medical transcription. Indian transcription industry has been able to adapt to this new development pretty quickly and now it is becoming a more prominent service for most of the transcription companies, beating medical transcription.

As of now, only about 10% of physicians are using the remote medical scribing service, and it is expected that it is going to go up to more than 50% in five years’ time and India is one country which is going to have the lion’s share because of her highly skilled huge work force and affordable cost. Being from the Medical Transcription background, I have seen firsthand the positive impact of remote medical scribe on the medical practices. Seyyone, the company I work in, is an Indian healthcare BPO/KPO company, specializing in Medical Transcription, EMR-Centric Services, Medical Coding, Medical Billing, etc. It is one such company which has quickly adapted to this new technology and has been rapidly acquiring new clients. When we were thinking that medical transcription is going downhill, the recent emergence of remote medical scribe has renewed the hope for all Transcription companies that this is the new way to go ahead and it looks greatly promising because ultimately the more the physicians/practices are satisfied, the more the hope for the transcription/scribing industry.

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