Electronic Health Record (EHR) data entry is a part of the job, but for most physicians it’s a chore. Not only does it take time away from your patients, it adds to the hours you spend in the office (or to the work hours you spend at home). Fortunately, many physicians have found ways to save time doing data entry.
One method is with the use of a medical scribe. They are professionals that document patient information into the EHR under the supervision of the physician. Team documentation, or “scribing”, frees physicians from writing notes, entering orders or referrals, and preparing prescriptions during the patient visit. This allows for more face time with patients, increased productivity, and efficiency, and increased revenue.
There are two different types of scribes to consider for your practice:
- An in-office scribe follows the physician through his or her work day and charts patient encounters in real time using the EHR. The American Medical Association has a CME module, Team Documentation: Improve Efficiency, Workflow, and Patient Care, for physicians who want to learn how documentation support help can have a positive practice impact. The free module provides an eight-step, solution-oriented program, as well as case studies, information on related Medicare payment issues, and an online calculator to estimate scribe savings.
- A virtual scribe listens to patient encounters through a secure HIPAA connection and documents as the physician interacts with each patient. After the exam, the physician reviews the patient’s chart with the scribe.
Read the Texas Medicine article, Hiring Scribes, for more detailed information.
Another option is voice recognition software. This can be especially helpful if you’re not a proficient typist. It also can help by making the content of your notes more complete and specific, and it helps limit cut and paste within the medical record. Most EHR vendors have voice recognition software or make it available via a third-party vendor. Check with your vendor for more information on how to get set up.
If you have questions about EHRs and other office technologies, contact TMA's Health Information Technology Department at (800) 880-5720 or via email.
Last Updated On
July 25, 2023
Originally Published On
June 04, 2020