EMR Adoption, Documentation and Scribes
EMR documentation backed by clinical decision support becomes a necessity, given the demand of medical professionals looking to achieve quality care through efficient processes, while ensuring compliance with industry standards. While most physicians recognize its benefits, EMR adoption is still viewed with much skepticism. Today, the biggest impediment to EMR adoption is not the cost of the solution, but in fact the alienation of physicians to electronic documentation.
A physician reportedly has multiple grievances with how the technology affects their work pattern and EMRs are continually blamed for their complexity and cumbersome documentation processes. While EMR usability has come a long way, there is still reluctance from physicians amidst fear of affecting relationships with their patients. Evidence suggests that most physicians are able to improve productivity and receive positive returns on investment after the first year of adoption. While young practitioners starting out may be keen to accommodate new technologies, learning new ways of operation may be wearisome for the established.
Medical scribe or transcription service can definitely help physicians by reducing the burden of documentation. Medical scribes usually take notes during consultation and transcribe them onto the EHR at a later time. This frees up the provider to interact with the patient and helps in improving the patient experience.
However, most EHR vendors may feel otherwise as they market the cost saving due to reduced staffing requirements. They also argue that this limits the physician’s ability to uncover the potential of an EMR system. “If anything, the need for the scribe is validated and necessitated with the implementation of an EMR,” argues Lindsey Edwards, an executive director for a medical scribe staffing company in Dallas. Transcriptionists though may add a layer of bureaucracy, slowing response time in some cases.
It is widely believed that the transcribing industry would indefinitely grow to support healthcare automation over the coming years. Scribes can prove to be highly cost effective as interactions tend to become more fluid and providers are eventually able to see more patients per day. With the challenges faced by the healthcare sector today, a medical practice must continuously transform its processes to improve the quality of care, ensure patient safety and privacy. As a conclusion, it is easy to deduce that scribes may have the answer to the most common problems faced by a modern practitioner.