There’s no doubt that a Medical Scribe makes a valuable contribution to a patient’s consultation. A Scribe allows a physician or nurse practitioner to focus on the patient, rather than the medical documentation that needs to be filled out regarding a patient. This means that the patient gets more time to interact with the medical practitioner, and also ensures the practitioner doesn’t have to stay late at the ED or clinic filling out EHR requirements.
But even though the usefulness of the Scribe can’t be disputed, the presence of the Scribe in an examination can also sometimes be an unexpected, unpleasant surprise to the patient. Some patients may see a visit to the doctor as a private, personal matter, and to suddenly see someone else in the room, can put a patient ill at ease. Although it’s not a common occurrence, one in five patients at facilities using Scribes have occasionally expressed discomfort at seeing a Scribe present.
This is why medical practitioners should always take the time to introduce the Medical Scribe to the patient, and explain what his or her role is during the examination. By keeping the patient involved in the diagnostic process, medical practitioners can highlight usefulness of the Medical Scribe, pointing out that the Scribe makes it possible for more personal care to be given to the patient during the visit. Always keep in mind that while the ED, clinic, or examination room is an everyday work setting for the staff, to the patient, this place and these procedures are irregular, largely unfamiliar occurrences. Keeping them informed and helping them to understand the process puts them at ease, and rather than seeing a stranger that doesn’t appear to be involved in the actual diagnostic process, introducing the Medical Scribe and explaining the Scribe’s job helps the patient to understand how this other person is helping the process along.