EHRs were introduced with the best of intentions. But the negative impact of EHRs on the stress levels and time demands placed on physicians cannot be understated. Physicians across the country are literally struggling to keep pace with EHR workload and feel that excessive documentation has started to take a toll on their relationships with their patients. We know that open and effective communication is crucial to providing patient-centered care. However, it is quite challenging for a physician to accurately document the details of the visit while at the same time providing patient-centered care. It is here that the need for documentation support was felt. Enter the virtual medical scribe, a vital asset to your care team. A virtual medical scribe can provide real-time help with EHR so that physicians stay focused on patient care and run an efficient practice.

How a virtual medical scribe can be an invaluable asset to your practice

Many experts have hailed the virtual medical scribe as a viable solution to the growing documentation burden that physicians face. The following are some of the reasons why a virtual medical scribe is regarded as an invaluable asset to a practice.

Reduces burnout

Too many bureaucratic tasks such as charting and paperwork have been blamed as the leading cause of physician burnout, as per the Medscape report. And as physicians are tethered to EHRs spending time keying in data, it leaves them with less time to spend with patients. EHR work saps their joy and patient care activity is what brings them joy in their work. With virtual scribes thoroughly trained to document patient data in real-time directly into the EHR, you can reduce burnout associated with EHR-related clerical workload.

Improves physician-patient relationship

Physician-patient communication is crucial to providing patient-centered care. If the physician takes the responsibility of documenting in the EHR, open communication is compromised and physician-patient relationships are negatively impacted. With virtual medical scribes to take over the task of filling out the EHR allows physicians to spend more time with their patients, which makes maintaining physician-patient relationships much easier. Simply put, with the added attention virtual scribes facilitate physician-patient relationships improved.

Increases patient satisfaction

Patient satisfaction is a widely used metric for assessing the quality of health care. Patient satisfaction is what makes a physician happy. Happy patients, happy physicians. If physicians opt for self-documentation in the EHR, they have to do a 50-50 split between providing direct patient care and documenting in the EHR. Patients may feel that physicians are too preoccupied with charting the encounter than listening to their concerns. With virtual medical scribing documenting the encounter in real-time, the physician can focus entirely on the patient. This makes the patient heard, valued, and cared for.

See more patients, earn more revenue

With a virtual medical scribe to document the patient visits in real-time, frees up the physicians’ valuable time to focus on patient care and not on updating the EHR. The physicians will have more time which allows them to accommodate more patients to their daily schedule. Seeing more patients in a day pays off financially too. With a virtual medical scribe, a physician can see 7 or 8 additional patients in a day without putting in any extra hours.

Reduces cost

Time after time research studies say that US healthcare spends 15% to 25% of their total national health care expenses on administrative costs. Hiring the services of a virtual medical scribe reduces administrative costs by eliminating the need to spend on hiring and training, providing office space and equipment, preparing payroll and benefits, and handling vacations and sick leave. All of this means that the services of a virtual medical scribe are more affordable.

Better work-life balance

Using virtual medical scribes to provide the necessary documentation support significantly reduces physician workload and improves efficiency. As virtual medical scribes take the documentation burden off physicians’ shoulders it helps them achieve a greater work-life balance. There is no need for them to wake up early to chart prior to clinic hours or stay back after clinic to complete their day’s charting. Physicians can end their work day at 5 p.m. and get home early to spend some quality time with their families. Overall, using virtual medical scribes improved physician’s lifestyles and they reported higher job satisfaction.

Improves charting quality and efficiency

Opting to use virtual scribes not only reduces the non-clinical workload, it also ensures accurate documentation that prevents medical errors, the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer. Scribes can significantly improve the overall quality of documentation. They can provide accurate, thorough, and detailed documentation that facilitates faster reimbursements. And when it comes to charting efficiency, scribed charts are closed on the same day of service.

Physicians opted for this noble profession to provide the best possible care for patients. Accurate and up-to-date documentation is important for the healthcare process and for proper claims handling. But that doesn’t mean physicians should document patient visits. They weren’t meant to do it. If you are a physician struggling with increasing amounts of administrative work hire a virtual medical scribe. A virtual medical scribe is definitely an invaluable asset as they help offload the burden of EHR documentation and responsibility, allowing you to focus on what you were meant to do – patient care.

Is a Virtual Medical Scribe an Invaluable Asset to your Practice asset Authored By Haley Homes.

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