Oncologists are typically busy seeing almost a dozen patients a day, often under extremely emotional situations. That is why it is important for oncologists to display excellent bedside manners, spend sufficient time on patient encounters and provide a great level of compassionate care. Amid all this documenting every bit of patient information with the goal of improving diagnosis and care, could be highly challenging. Adding to that, medical reimbursement issues, the emotional toll of caring for terminally ill patients, and onerous regulatory requirements have made oncologists, overworked, overtired and overwhelmed. This is where the services of oncology scribes kick in.
A study published by the Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2018 states that 46% of oncologists spend 16 minutes or even less per patient. But imagine the number of concerns and questions the patient and their family members have. Moreover, 43% of the oncologists said that they spent more than 20 hours per week or even more on administrative tasks and 85% reported that they spent 10 hours or more every week to get their administrative tasks done. End result – you have a prescription for widespread burnout and dissatisfaction. Burnout levels in oncologists have reached a crisis point with various studies showing an incidence of over 50%. Greater workloads on account of increasing documentation and administrative demands in an oncology practice are a major contributing factor.
Improve patient-centered care, physician satisfaction and cost efficiency
Oncologists’ documentation needs increase and the existing EHR technology fails to alleviate the workload. The use of oncology scribes holds the key to reducing documentation overload and spending more time with patients. Integrating scribes into oncology practices across several oncology disciplines has been shown to reduce burnout levels by enhancing physician satisfaction, improving quality of care and increasing clinical workflow efficiency.
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