June 2015

June 2015

Turns out not everyone loves Electronic Health Records (EHR). Some feel that data entry is more time-consuming than handwritten notes, and that using a keyboard creates a barrier between doctor and patient.

Consider using a scribe.

You could train a current back office team member. Scribes can speed up the documentation process and improve the doctor-patient relationship. You'll have a better connection when you're facing the patient rather than distracted by a keyboard.

Keep in mind, that while the scribe notes the documentation, you're still the one with the license on the line. You have final responsibility. If you take this path it's essential that you meticulously review all transcribed documentation before signing it.

But it's not a quick fix. Hiring a new staff member takes time. Training an existing team member takes time too, plus you'll have to hire someone to fulfill his or her former responsibilities. Expect 60 to 90 days to get a scribe up to speed and to make sure the relationship is a good fit.

Finally, will improved productivity offset the costs of bringing in a new team member, virtual or otherwise? Consider experimenting by having a staff member act as patient and another with good handwriting act as scribe as you role-play your way through a patient visit. See how it feels to "talk your way" through your documentation.

Ultimately, quality documentation, whether on paper or electronically, saves time and permits you to be more present with the patient.