Running a successful medical practice can be an arduous task for physicians. Between patient consultations, administrative responsibilities, and clinical documentation, the workload can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are two primary solutions to alleviate some of this burden: human scribes and AI scribes. In this blog post, we will delve into the roles of human scribes and AI scribes, discussing their advantages and disadvantages to help you determine which best suits your practice’s needs.
A human scribe is a healthcare professional tasked with concurrently documenting patient interactions, assisting with workflow management, and retrieving relevant medical records. While choosing human scribes, you can opt for either an in-office scribe or a virtual scribe. Virtual medical scribes are professionals who remotely accompany physicians during patient visits, taking real-time notes and entering data directly into electronic health records (EHRs) from an offsite location. These virtual scribes typically work for medical scribing companies that outsource their services to medical practices.
An AI-powered scribe automates clinical documentation through the use of machine learning (ML) algorithms and natural language processing (NLP) techniques. AI scribe systems listen to natural conversations between physicians and patients during encounters and automatically convert them into real-time clinical notes. The adoption of AI scribes has been on the rise as physicians seek EHR automation for their practices. However, concerns exist about the accuracy of AI-generated notes and potential patient safety issues arising from misinterpretations.
AI Scribes vs. Human Scribes
Let’s examine the pros and cons of both AI and human scribes
AI Scribes – Pros and Cons
– Time and cost-saving benefits.
– Faster note generation compared to manual entry.
– Cost-effective in comparison to human scribes.
– AI-generated notes may lack accuracy, completeness, relevance, and comprehensibility.
– AI systems lack critical thinking and can misinterpret patient visits, potentially posing safety risks without proper monitoring.
Human Scribes – Pros and Cons
– Consistently produce highly accurate and complete notes critical to safe patient care.
– Slower than AI scribes.
– Potential for higher long-term costs.
However, opting for a virtual medical scribe from leading scribe service providers like Scribe service provider can cut costs, as their prices are as low as $14 per hour with no contractual commitments. You only pay for the services you use.
Both human scribes and AI-assisted scribes aim to reduce the administrative workload of physicians and enhance patient care, but in different ways. AI scribes represent a novel approach to this challenge but require further research and analysis to ensure accuracy and safety. Human scribes, with their decade-long history of reliability, remain the industry standard, offering substantial benefits to physicians. As a physician, it is your responsibility to weigh the pros and cons of both modalities and choose the one that best aligns with your practice’s unique needs.