Scribes in Outpatient Clinic Settings?
The number of hospitals utilizing scribes in emergency departments has grown rapidly since the inception of Meaningful Use and the widespread adoption of electronic medical records (EMR). With EDs becoming busier and busier, scribes are helping make physicians more productive and better documenting the patient visit. Best of all, the patient is better served as physicians are not dividing their attention with the EMR. Numerous quantitative and qualitative studies evaluating the impact of scribes in the emergency department point to the substantial financial and quality of life returns for ED’s using scribes. For example, a study conducted by Robert Wood Johnson Medical School most notably concludes about the impact of scribes in their emergency department: “ED scribes are associated with … Continue Reading »
Scribe Best Practices: Communicating with Patients about Scribes
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) recently published a comprehensive article stating some best practices of managing a scribe program. Because a scribe is one of the newest members of the healthcare team, many patients are still becoming acquainted with a scribe’s role. The AHIMA report makes a few helpful suggestions:
“Educate the patient on how the presence of a medical scribe provides them with more interactive time with their provider. However, the patient always has the right to refuse the presence of additional staff (i.e., scribes, residents) in the exam room. If the provider realizes that the patient is uncomfortable discussing an issue with the scribe in the room, a pre-arranged verbal signal such as “please check with the … Continue Reading »
How will the Election Results Impact Your Emergency Department?
In light of President Barack Obama’s victory, many emergency physicians and administrators are asking a very important question. How will the election results affect emergency departments across the country? The Affordable Care Act (ACA) appears to be here to stay for the foreseeable future. Expanding American’s access to healthcare will continue to drive Medicare and Medicaid patients to emergency rooms as primary care providers tighten up on the type of patients they accept. Emergency rooms across the country have already experienced dramatic increases in patient volume. Emergency physicians will continue to seek efficiency solutions that can improve their productivity and keep patients moving efficiently through the emergency department as volume inevitably rises.
We are confident that scribes will continue to be … Continue Reading »
“ER Coding Concerns: Scribes Focus on Accurate Documentation to Support Accurate Coding Levels ”
A recent report conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services observed a sizable rise in coding levels in emergency departments. According to the report, over the past 10 years, the average number of Level 5 codes in the ED has risen by 21%, while Level 1, 2, 3, and 4 codes have all declined. The marked rise in Level 5 codes begs the question, are emergency departments simply treating more higher acuity patients than before, or are emergency physicians gaming the system?
Providers need to be aware of this important coding trend. More importantly, as stated in the DHHS study, providers must make sure their documentation supports their E&M levels. In fact the Office of Inspector General (OIG) stated … Continue Reading »
Top 7 Best Practices for ED Scribe Program
eScribe Management Services has been implementing and managing scribe programs in emergency departments for over 10 years. We offer a diverse menu of services for hospitals and physicians groups looking to implement a scribe program in their ED. In addition to offering fully outsourced scribe solutions, we also offer Built, Operate, Transfer (BOT) option, and an application management platform on a licensing basis. Our experience building and managing scribe programs provide us with the opportunity to develop key attribute of a successful scribe program. Here are seven tips:
1) Create Scribe Training Material Specific to Your EMR.
Creating effective training material that is specific to your ED setting and EMR is critical to a scribe program operating smoothly. If you will manage … Continue Reading »
ER Scribe Impact #4: “Provider-Patient interaction in ED more closely linked to patient satisfaction than any other specialty”
J.D. Power and Associates recently published a report on the factors that affect patient satisfaction. The study shows that the main drivers for patient satisfaction in the emergency department setting are more tied to the quality of the patient’s interaction with doctors and nurses than in inpatient settings. The study finds:
“Doctors and nurses account for 34 percent of the overall experience ratings for inpatients, and their influence is even higher (43 percent) among patients in emergency settings.”
The study further reveals that patient satisfaction is more closely tied to the provider-patient experience than the quality of the facility. Better facility characteristics are not as important to patients as was previously understood. This data could have meaningful implications on hospital budget allocations.
“With … Continue Reading »
Joint Commission Allows PAs to Use Scribes
The Joint Commission recently added provision that allows Physician Assistants to use scribes. According to the American Academy of Physcian Assistants (AAPA),
“The Joint Commission has revised its policy to allow the use of scribes by PAs. AAPA, working with member PAs, and other stakeholders, was able to overturn previous Joint Commission policy that specifically precluded PAs from using scribes. The policy was particularly challenging for PAs practicing in emergency departments and other hospital settings where scribes are increasingly utilized to enter documentation into the electronic medical record.”
The revised FAQ states, in part:
Q. What is a scribe and how are they used?
A. A scribe is an unlicensed person hired to enter information into the electronic medical record (EMR) or chart at the direction of a physician or … Continue Reading »
Scribes in the ER and the Joint Commission
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (“The Joint Commission”) accredits and certifies more than 19,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, ensuring they are providing safe and effective care and the highest value. The Joint Commission’s official position on the use of scribes in hospitals is that it “does not endorse nor prohibit the use of scribes.” If an organization chooses to utilize scribes, however, the Joint Commission provides compliance guidelines to follow. At eScribe Management Services we are committed to satisfying each compliance measure set forth by the Joint Commission, as evidenced below.
Joint Commission Human Resources, Information Management, and Rights and Responsibilities of the Individual
Each scribe receives a job description that recognizes their unlicensed … Continue Reading »
ER Scribe Impact #3: Scribes Increase Provider Productivity
Emergency Rooms all across the United Stated are seeing more and more patients. A 2010 study of national emergency room trends confirms this is the case. In particular, this study finds some shocking trends and results of national emergency rooms:
The number of patient visits in emergency rooms nationwide increased 23% from about 95 million in 1997 to 117 million in 2007.
Only about half of this increase in volume can be attributed to population growth.
The average wait time in ERs rose from 22 minutes to 33 minutes over that period as ERs become more crowded, and
As demand grew, the number of ERs dropped 5% from 4,114 in 1997 to 3,925 in 2007.
What does this mean for emergency physicians? For starters, the … Continue Reading »
ER Scribe Impact #2: Efficiency Matters
Implementing a scribe program in the emergency room will bring multi-faceted benefits to the patient, provider, and the scribe. It is truly a win-win-win. Emergency Room settings are, by definition, among the least predictable working environments in healthcare. For many, the addition of the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) has not added the intended help needed to reduce some of the chaos. For many hospitals, the emergency department has become less efficient with adoption of an EMR. Scribes can streamline workflow in the emergency room and help transition a hospital to the EMR by creating higher efficiencies in a few key areas:
1) Economic Efficiency: Scribes will make providers more efficient. It is quite simple. A scribe relieves clerical burdens for providers, … Continue Reading »