Virtual Scribes – The future of medical transcription

Physicians all over the United States are now finding that using scribes for live transcription via EMR works far better than the outsourced overnight transcription service. Some of the physicians we talked to had the following views about using scribes.

Phy #1: I do not have to dictate anymore and that is a great stress relief, previously I would spend hours on dictation and I would forget much information and it was really a challenge for me. Now I leave my clinic with no notes pending.

Phy #2: I am not so good at using the EMR, I used to enter the transcribed reports into EMR myself or with my secretary and this took a lot of my time. Now I am concentrating totally on my patients rather than the transcription. My scribe takes care of EMR charting completely.

Phy #3: All my charts are ready by the end of the day and they are ready to be sent for billing. This is pretty quick. My scribes exactly know what codes I regularly use, so there are no issues with billing.

Phy #4: Now I am seeing more patients, and I think the scribe service is god sent. I don’t worry at all about the EMR or transcription, I just concentrate on my patients and they also feel that I am giving them more time and attention, which makes them more happy.

The above statements make it clear that the probability of physicians using a scribe service rather than transcription is getting higher and higher by every passing day. The outsourced transcription industry has already begun looking at various options to keep a hold on their workflow. The only viable option would be a virtual scribe.

The virtual scribe has two distinct advantages over the live scribe.

  • A live US scribe is mostly a medical student or a nursing staff/student. They draw huge salaries. Virtual scribe is a bit costlier than the regular transcription service, but more than 50% cheaper than a live US scribe.
  • Many patients do not feel comfortable with a live scribe sitting with the physician and listening to their conversation or present during the examination. With the virtual scribe, even though the physicians inform the patients that somebody is listening to them remotely, it does not make them feel uncomfortable; most of them are okay with it.

Seyyone, a nearly 20-year-old transcription service, has taken the leap from transcription to virtual scribe and has been successfully doing it for the past year. Only highly experienced medical transcriptionists should be used for scribing, otherwise there will be lot of queries from the scribe to the physician, which again would cause the whole process to get delayed, which renders the process meaningless leading to the physician’s irritation. So, only highly skilled scribes are being used at Seyyone, who can gather almost 90% of the details from just the conversation between the physician and the patient. The physician can then just check the chart and make any changes, which takes only a few seconds and the chart is ready to print and given as a handout before the patient leaves the clinic.

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