Dermatology is yet another busy specialty and many dermatologists see as many as 80 patients in a day. In a typical workday, a dermatologist gets to see a great mix of clinical cases – from minor skin problems like acne to lesions or moles that look wary. In addition, the federal mandate for electronic health records brought in new challenges. As per a study published in SKIN, The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine, 58% of the dermatologists felt that EHRs distract them from meaningful face time with their patients, and 75% said that EHRs adversely impacted their workflow and efficiency. Well, it is here, the invaluable services of dermatology scribes come into play.

Needs for dermatology scribes

We all know that the implementation of EMRs has led to an increase in the amount of paperwork, with physicians spending 2 hours at their computer, entering data for every one hour of patient care. This resulted in a significant decline in physician job satisfaction and an increase in burnout, including the physicians in the field of dermatology. JAMA Network conducted a pilot program in an academic dermatology practice. They analyzed the impact of scribes on the clinical documentation time and clinician satisfaction. And this is what they inferred.

  • With dermatology scribes, the time spent inputting data into the EMR considerably reduced from an average of 6.1 minutes per patient to 3.0 minutes per patient. It was also noted that clinical documentation time significantly dropped to 36 minutes per half-day session from 75 minutes per half-day session.
  • There was also a significant improvement in job satisfaction as 79% of the dermatologists were interested to add more patients to their schedule after using the scribes.
  • Most importantly, with a scribe program implemented in a dermatology clinic, there was a 7.7% increase in the practice revenue.
  • Overall, they found that the use of medical scribes in a dermatology practice is a promising strategy to improve efficiency, physician satisfaction, and ultimately the bottom line.

What does a dermatology scribe do in a day?      

  • They accompany the dermatologist and document everything that happens during a patient visit. Right from history-taking and physical exams, to making diagnostic evaluations and creating treatment plans, they document it all.
  • Dermatology scribes are also responsible for documenting laboratory results, prescription refills, procedures, billing information, and everything as directed by the dermatologist.
  • Schedule follow-up appointments and procedures as per the instructions of the dermatologist.
  • Handle all patient-related data with confidentiality and security, ensuring compliance with HIPAA regulations.
  • Assist dermatologists while performing procedures and administer medications, all as directed by the dermatologist.

Just like every other medical practice out there, dermatology clinics also struggle with paperwork and other non-clinical activities. The use of medical scribes can greatly help streamline dermatology clinician workflow and improve the efficiency of the practice. Does your patient feel ignored or slighted during a visit? Not anymore. With derma scribes you are no longer tied to your computers with paperwork; instead, you can enjoy more face time with patients and address their needs better.

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