Can medical scribes work from home?

Medical scribes have been a part of the modern medical field for years, helping clinicians take accurate notes during patient visits and document encounters efficiently. Traditionally, medical scribes worked in-person right beside the clinician, writing notes in the exam room during each visit. In recent years, however, there has been a massive shift towards virtual medical scribes and other alternative documentation solutions that are more conducive to work-from-home standards.

Traditional Medical Scribes

For many years, in-person medical scribes were the preferred option for most clinicians — citing security concerns with their work-from-home counterparts. By documenting the patient visit in real time, in-person medical scribes provide much needed documentation relief to clinicians and allow them to focus more intently on delivering care. Studies show that giving clinicians more space to engage with patients leads patients to feeling more confident in themselves and in the quality of care they receive. Additional studies suggest that the introduction of medical scribes to the exam room also significantly reduces the time clinicians spend documenting in their EHR, which in turn leads to greater job and life satisfaction. So, why are in-person medical scribes positions declining?

Costs and high rates of turnover in the scribe industry are a significant contributor to their decreasing popularity and private practice providers simply can't afford the hourly costs, training, management, and oversight associated with medical scribes.

Additionally, traditional in-person scribes can pose malpractice risks as they relate to "functional creep" — the phenomenon of trusted scribes completing EHR work that is beyond the scope of their training or clearance.

These dissatisfactions have left clinicians with a bit of a void, and have led to the growing popularity of medical scribes who work from home. Virtual medical scribes are, as the name suggests, scribes who work remotely to document patient visits. They have all of the benefits of in-person scribes — namely, they free up clinicians to focus on care and improve patient satisfaction — but without the same costs, third-party intrusiveness, and risks associated with traditional scribes.

Recommended Reading: In-Person Medical Scribes: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

COVID-19 and Work-from-Home

Of course, these remote work trends have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Providers who were previously hesitant about telemedicine are now forced to adopt new work-from-home practices, and, in turn, virtual medical scribes. Now, more than two years into the pandemic, it's hard to imagine a world where work-from-home isn't at least part of the norm — if not the norm itself. But if that's the new norm, then we need to be thinking critically about the state of virtual scribes. Are they the option that providers and patients need and deserve? In short, not really.

While virtual medical scribes have a few advantages to their in-person counterparts, such as being slightly more cost effective and flexible, there are several serious disadvantages to virtual scribes that providers are now beginning to weigh as they search for the next medical documentation aid.

Recommended Reading: Virtual Medical Scribes: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

While there are concerns among providers regarding costs, turnover, training standards, and data transmission security, the biggest threat to the scribing industry is that traditional medical scribes no longer meet providers' documentation needs.

As medical documentation requirements have continued to climb in recent years, healthcare providers around the country are drowning in administrative work, and the typical preventative tools like medical scribes are no longer meeting the demands of a modern day medical practice. Patients expect their clinicians to give them personalized attention, yet modern standards and EHR documentation require far more detailed notes than ever before and providers are expected to see 20+ patients each day. But without any tools, one hour spent with a patient can easily create more than two hours in administrative work. Providers have been stuck in a seemingly endless loop of, with no clear solution to help them. What gives?

The Best of Both Worlds: DeepScribe

Well, at DeepScribe, we believe that the burden of documentation shouldn't stand in the way of delivering care. But we also understand that typical medical scribe solutions are no longer meeting the mark. That's why we developed a system that we believe is the best of both worlds.

With our AI-powered system, providers are able to focus on their patients during the visit without worrying about note taking or the potential intrusiveness of a human scribe in the room. They record an encounter on their phone, and our AI extracts the medically relevant information and does its best to automatically formulate perfect medical notes.

But see, at DeepScribe, we also understand the power of the human in the loop. That's why we've also procured a highly trained team of remote medical scribes that assure the quality of our AI notes and help train our system to be better. The best part? We are helping preserve the scribe industry, but in a way that is built to charge forward into the future.

Our team of medical scribes are all 100% work-from-home, compensated fairly, and immersed in the healthcare field while at the same time helping clinicians reduce their documentation load every day.

In a world that is ever-changing, we believe that our system is the future of medical documentation — one that will help ease the burden of documentation so they can focus on what they do best: taking care of their patients. At DeepScribe, we're committed to bringing the joy of care back to medicine.

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