The role of ophthalmic scribes in retinal practices is indispensable, particularly in light of the increased documentation demands imposed by electronic health records. Physicians now spend twice as much time on EHR documentation and administrative tasks as they do with patients, significantly impacting productivity and efficiency. The volume of documentation required after each patient visit is the primary reason for decreased productivity among retinal specialists. To address this challenge, specialists must adapt their practice patterns to meet the demands of burdensome documentation requirements, higher patient loads, and decreasing reimbursements. Scribe utilization has been identified as a potential solution to alleviate these pressures and enhance efficiency.

How can ophthalmic scribes help?

Ophthalmic scribes undergo specialized training to assist retinal specialists with administrative tasks related to retinal examinations. Their duties include reviewing prior EHR visits, preparing electronic charting for subsequent appointments, interpreting imaging results, documenting retinal examination findings in the EHR, recording diagnoses, physician-patient interactions, treatment plans, prescriptions, and more. Additionally, ophthalmic medical scribes help manage scheduling and improve patient flow. In essence, as Dr. Curtis L. Hagedorn of Colorado Retina Associates PC in Denver states, “Scribes help retinal specialists spend more time with patients, focusing on being physicians and less time on record-keeping, thereby improving overall clinic efficiency.”

Why opt for ophthalmic scribe support?

Data entry and other administrative tasks associated with EHR adoption consume a significant portion of a physician’s time. Scribe utilization has been shown to increase patient volume and physician productivity by reducing encounter times, improving clinical documentation and coding compliance, and increasing physician and patient satisfaction scores. Dr. Curtis Hagedorn, a retina-only ophthalmologist and vitreoretinal surgeon at Colorado Retina Associates, emphasizes the importance of ophthalmic scribes in managing electronic health records, particularly in demanding subspecialties like retina, where practice volume has increased significantly due to treatments such as anti-VEGF therapies. By scheduling injections and informing patients and their families about the process, scribes help mitigate the stress that comes with having a heavy patient load. Scribes can also help retinal specialists administer injections in addition to entering patient data into electronic health records. No wonder, a higher patient volume and more efficient workflow were observed in retina practices that used the scribes.

How ophthalmic scribe improve efficiency and enhance patient care?

Ophthalmic medical scribes play a crucial role in increasing efficiency and improving patient care in retinal practices. Their involvement in preparing imaging results and electronic health records before specialist reviews, recording interpretation of OCT images, and documenting findings during visits allows physicians to focus more on patient interaction and treatment. Practices that have employed scribes have reported an increase in patient volume and a smoother workflow.


As ophthalmic medical scribes enable physicians to see more patients in the same amount of time, it is now evident that their use in retina practices boosts productivity and efficiency. Moreover, a good physician-patient relationship is linked to having a positive impact on health outcomes including patient satisfaction. Above all, efficiency is paramount for retinal practices facing challenges such as diminishing reimbursements, rising overhead costs, greater regulatory requirements, and an increased focus on patient experience. Hiring ophthalmic scribes can help practices address these challenges. There are many scribe service providers out there who offer highly trained ophthalmic virtual scribes to enhance efficiency, patient care, satisfaction, and revenue. Choose wisely and take your practice to the next level!

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