Recently, a company has tested out a new streaming technology that could make life easier for doctors and allow them to spend more of their examination time with their patients instead of with a computer. Wearing a Google Glass, a doctor transmitted what he saw and called out everything he discovered so that a scribe at a remote location could transcribe everything. In addition, when the doctor asked for information, the scribe could look it up and send it as a text popup to the doctor’s Glass.
Now, this particular setup had a few issues involved. For one thing, the scribe in question was in India, and while India offers a cheaper workforce, scribe work demands a very solid understanding of English and the very precise medical jargon, two things that are much harder to come by in India than here in the United States. At the same time, hospitals and clinics already struggle with cybersecurity, and an open two-way connection to a foreign IP address isn’t likely to help with that.
However, there’s no reason why doctors and psychiatrists couldn’t set up a similar system right now. It wouldn’t be as elegant, but it would be more accurate and more secure. Physicians could set up a small web camera connected to the local network that would allow a scribe in the workplace to monitor an examination and take down notes, providing instant feedback through a chat client. And what’s even better with this setup is the fact that the physician can speak to the scribe in person afterwards and correct any notes taken right then and there.
If your medical workplace doesn’t make use of scribes yet, then you should really learn what a company like ProScribe can offer. While it can seem like adding several more staff members is the last thing your hospital needs, the purpose of scribes is to make physicians and nurses far more effective at their jobs by taking on the paperwork load that’s come to define the American medical profession. By relying on our professional medical assistants, physicians can spend more time with their patients and see more patients each day, a fact which means a scribe service like ours pays for itself.
So while it’s usually a good idea to embrace new technology as it comes along and makes life easier, you should remember to pay attention to what the potential downsides might be. Having a scribe sitting outside of the examination room taking notes may be a good way to maintain the patient’s feeling of privacy, but you should know who might be able to view the camera feed.