How Medical Scribes Improve Patient Care

Medical scribes are becoming an increasingly common sight in doctors’ offices across the United States. They are an important part of the support network that underpins the work of doctors. A medical scribe is similar to a personal assistant; they sit in with the physician and record important notes. The role of medical scribe is one that more and more medical students are choosing as a first job and a way to gain clinical experience before earning their qualification. The benefits of having a medical scribe to both patients and doctors are becoming clearer as more and more physicians take up their services.

Doctors Can Focus on Patients

By delegating administrative tasks to a medical scribe, physicians free themselves up to focus on the patient. All the evidence so far suggests that by taking some of the pressure off the primary physician and by giving them back the time that they previously spent on paperwork and other administrative tasks, medical scribes allow doctors to focus their attention on the patient. This leads to increased rates of diagnosis simply because the doctor’s attention isn’t diverted and they feel under less time constraints and therefore pressure.

The cascading benefits of this are hard to overstate; patient satisfaction increases, doctors confidence increases and in turn people’s faith in the healthcare system increases making them more likely to engage with such services when they require them. This instantly addresses two of the major problems in providing community health care.

Students Can Gain Experience

Many medical scribes are people planning to begin training as a medical professional, whether it is as a physician themselves or another healthcare role, and sitting in while a physician works provides them with invaluable experience. Experience like this in a clinical setting is unique and something that can never be truly replicated by a textbook or in the context of a lecture. In the clinical setting, physicians see a variety of people with a limitless variety and combination of symptoms. The end result of this is that the medical students begin their training with some additional knowledge and experience which makes their learning experience easier and the quality of patient care they ultimately deliver much better.

It Draws New Talent to the Medical Field

Being a medical scribe requires a completely different skillset to that of being a physician. The duties of a medical scribe include the documenting of crucial information with regards to patient care, cataloguing and organising that information appropriately for the primary physician so as to reduce the amount of time spent on non-medical issues, and improving patient care. The skills required to perform this role efficiently include organisation, an eye for detail, and the ability to identify and record key information. These are all skills that are beneficial to doctors so the extra opportunity for students to learn these skills has long term benefits to the entire field.

A medical scribe is an excellent career path for those hoping to one day qualify as a physician and for those who enjoy organisation and administrative tasks. Medical scribes will play an increasingly prominent role in patient care as time goes on and could well soon be a standard part of medical training.

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