How much is your time worth as a provider? Or a better question, what is YOUR hourly rate? With the increase in government regulations and the need for timely, accurate documentation, scribes are a great option.
1. Help Me, Help YOU
Making your job as a provider easier should be a reason to consider a scribe. Not only is your scribe taking down your documentation into the EHR as directed but they are also there as your “assistant.” You may choose to pull an already clinical person, such as an MA or a nurse, to become your scribe. This will allow your scribe to assist you with minor procedures, injections, casting, etc.
2. Can I get a witness?
Unfortunately there are times when a patient visit becomes a “He said, She said” moment. With a scribe, you will have a witness in the room documenting the information in “real time.”
3. Call for some Help
In the unforeseeable chance there is an emergency when seeing your patient, you will have another person in the room to assist you. “Drop the computer and catch the patient!” Yikes!
4. What’s the next step
As you are telling the patient they will begin physical therapy, need a prescription e-scribed and need a note for school, your scribe will be documenting and filling out the paperwork necessary for these things to happen when the patient and you walk out of the room. Train your scribes to predict the next step.
5. Look at my pretty note
EHR notes typically do not look pretty. Let’s break away from the “cookie cutter” note for a minute and attempt to put the information you as a provider want back into your note. If you are able to customize your EHR templates, it is recommended that your scribe work with your IT department to help with the customizations to fit the provider’s needs.
6. Timely and Accurate
It is nice to have an “editor.” The MA puts a patient in a room and gathers some information. The scribe will be able to clean up that information and add more information all during the office visit.
7. Look at the patient, not at your computer
Will all the clicks and buttons keep you from looking at your patient? If you are not a computer savvy individual or you would rather not mess with a computer in a room, consider someone else pointing and clicking for you.
8. Quality of life
Having notes completed by the end of the day, place on hold so all you have to do is read over them and sign? Not having to dictate the remainder of the evening? Catching your kid’s softball game or a movie night with your spouse? Yes please!
9. Coding 101
Physicians are not coders and neither are scribes, but scribes can work with the coding department to make sure that information is accurately being recorded. Also, a scribe may be able to help catch and remind you of a specific insurance need.
10. Worth the cost?
Scribes average $13.00-$17.00 (hourly rate not including benefits) depending on degree, experience and location. Find your patient value total revenue divided by the patient visits and figure out how many more patients you will need to see to offset this cost. If adding a few more patients a week could pay for your scribe and make you more efficient in the process, then this option might be for you.
11. Attestations, ICD10, PQRS….
Times they are a changing….Insurance companies and the government want more data collection and more details during the patient’s visits. Meaningful use is forcing structured data to be collected and eventually shared securely provider to provider. These changes are tough at best to keep up with but with an addition of a scribe, it is possible to meet these ever changing requirements.