The medical transcription invoice funding specialists recently stumbled upon an “Open Letter Series” written by AHDI’s 2011 Director, Kristen Hagen, discussing the role of medical scribes in the healthcare documentation industry.
Even though, Ms. Hagen wrote the Let’s Talk About…Medical Scribes Open Letter in February, the information within it is still very relevant for our medical transcription factoring blog readers. Here are some tidbits of information we wanted to highlight:
What is the background of a medical scribe?
“Today scribes are commonly referred to as Clinical Information Managers. The primary function of a scribe is the creation and maintenance of the patient’s medical record, which is created under the supervision of the attending physician. The scribe documents the patient’s history and story through direct observation of the physician’s interaction with the patient as well as the procedures performed, the results of the laboratory studies, and the other ancillary information gathered at the point of care…The demand has traditionally been filled with eager pre-medical students, learning first-hand about the workflow patterns and patient care they will deliver in the future.”
What are the skill set requirements and training required to become a medical scribe?
“Medical scribes may be trained on site or through affordable online distance education programs. Skill sets include strong English grammar, a compelling interest in healthcare and patient improvement, a strong desire to work in a clinical setting, superior analytical and resource skills, understanding and training in enabling technologies…an understanding of information workflow, attention to detail, keen listening skills, and strong multi-tasking abilities…Scribes are also expected to be well-versed in HIPAA and regulatory compliance, and like MTs, scribes have a steep learning curve, with clinical shadowing required in the post training phase.”
Could this be a stepping stone for medical transcriptionists and others in the medical transcription field? Is this an alternate career path for medical transcriptionists?
“There are similarities and distinct differences between medical transcriptionist and medical scribes, as are there in comparing these roles with any other health information management role…Healthcare will need professionals who have flexible resume of contributory skills applicable to an EHR-centric documentation setting. Scribing is a potential alternate documentation setting for medical transcriptionists.”
Ms. Hagen’s two-cents:
“I can tell you that transcribing and scribing are neither competing nor complementary. They are quite unique, with some overlapping fundamental training but with divergent connection to technology and practical application. They are simply two of the many current and evolving roles available for those who seek career in the documentation of healthcare encounters.”
Q: What do you think about the medical scribe industry?