Are virtual medical scribes really worth the cost? This is a burning question in the minds of many healthcare providers out there. Well, the answer to this question is an astounding YES. With the frenetic work pace and the ever increasing bureaucratic tasks that take time away from patients and lead to burnout, physicians are on the lookout for solutions to ease their paperwork burden. Almost every physician out there has expressed dissatisfaction with the busywork generated by EHRs. Some even lament saying if this is why they ever came into medicine. Well, we have a solution to your tech woes called the virtual medical scribes who can help reduce paperwork and other administrative burden, so you can spend more time caring for your patients. Although investing in a virtual scribe model comes with an hourly rate, it is definitely an affordable solution and worth it. Read on to learn more.
The cost-benefit analysis of virtual medical scribes and if they really worth the cost
In order to decide whether hiring a virtual medical scribe is worth the cost we have to look into a few things to justify the cost. The following are some of the reasons as to why virtual medical scribes are worth the investment.
Scribes improve both patient and physician satisfaction
Use of virtual scribes has been shown to improve patient satisfaction and significant improvements in overall physician satisfaction according to research studies. When a physician focuses entirely on patient needs instead of sifting through the EHRs it creates a positive patient experience. The quality time spent face-to-face with patients helps strengthen physician-patient relationships, a key determinant of patient satisfaction. It’s an undeniable fact that hiring a medical scribe is really worth the cost as they play a crucial role in enhancing patient experience, an integral component of healthcare quality.
Scribes improve physician productivity
Increased productivity through scribes can help achieve financial savings. The use of medical scribes has been reported to increase physician productivity by increasing the number of patients seen in an hour. On an average, physicians who used scribes were able to see one additional patient and the high quality charts produced by scribes lead to more accurate medical coding that maximizes revenue. Another study reported that physicians who opted for scribes saw 10% more patients. This improved productivity led to 84 additional new patients and 423 additional follow-up appointments. Hence, implementing a virtual scribe model is worth the cost from both an operational and a financial efficiency point of view.
Scribes prevent burnout
“Too many bureaucratic tasks” is the number one contributor to physician burnout. Scribes reduce physician burnout and improve physician job satisfaction as they take over much of the time-consuming documentation tasks associated with burnout. The initial cost of hiring a medical scribe, which can considerably reduce burnout, can be offset in less than a year. Given that scribes have been found to improve physician satisfaction and reduce provider burnout, it is definitely worth considering them.
Scribes increase patient volume and revenue
Scribes are known to increase revenue to a practice by increasing patient visits. A study reports that physicians who took the help of scribes for documenting patient visits saw 9.6% more patients per hour. The cost of hiring the scribes may be more than offset by the additional revenue they help to generate. In order for the scribe program to be profitable for a physician practice after one year, it is enough if physicians see two new or three returning patients in a day. Scribes boost practice revenue, well beyond being an opportunity to increase patient volume. Well, scribes increase patient flow, increase revenue - what more reasons does one need to justify that scribes are worth the cost?
Scribes pay for themselves
Are you hesitant to hire virtual scribes thinking they will add up to your operational costs? It is true that opting to use the scribes for documentation support entails an additional financial investment. But it is also true that the investment will pay off in the long run by bringing in a significant measurable increase in provider revenue. Physicians see more patients that drive in more revenue and charting is thorough which reduces claim denials are the two great reasons that having a medical scribe at the practice should pay for itself quickly.
Considering the above significant benefits investing in virtual medical scribes is justifiable and worth the price. Well, choosing to hire a virtual medical scribe is definitely worth it when you take into account the positive impact on provider well-being, patient satisfaction, clinical efficiency and the financial returns. For all the value that scribes add to a medical practice it is high time physicians start considering them. If you are a physician debating whether hiring a scribe is really worth it, you should definitely give it a serious thought because it’s worth every penny.
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Effective physician-patient communication not only fosters good physician-patient relationships but also improves care and clinical outcomes. However, the increasing amount of time spent on EHRs, changed physicians’ priorities all at the expense of patients.
Healthcare represents a service ecosystem that is made up of several stakeholders - patients, healthcare professionals, medical scribes, and insurance companies. Virtual medical scribing, the fastest growing field in the US can benefit all parties involved.
Charting and paperwork on account of the widespread adoption of EHRs is the number one contributor to physician burnout, a Medscape study says. EHRs hurt physician-patient relationships that are crucial in health care. Physicians feel that patient visits have turned out to be more impersonal with physicians focused at entering data into the EHRs