The benefits of using a professional medical scribe are pretty obvious in a modern medical setting. They allow doctors and nurse practitioners to focus on the patient, rather than filling out an EHR with minimal interaction with the patient. They allow consultations to go by faster, but with a much higher level of quality, because the bulk of the session isn’t taken up with the clerical duties of filling out the necessary forms. And they allow clinics and EDs to enjoy more physician productivity, without compromising on medical attentiveness. This means doctors and nurse practitioners don’t have to stay in the office after hours filling in forms.
But one benefit that no one really expected is that having someone like one of our ProScribes actually makes patients feel better about themselves and their doctor.
The Medical Story
One of the things that changes when Medical Scribes are present during an examination is not just the interactivity between the doctor and the patient, but the way the examination is conducted. Because the Scribe is listening to the doctor in order to take down all the relevant observations about a patient’s exam, the doctor or nurse practitioner must “narrate” all the medical details in a clear fashion so that the notes can be taken.
This has had the unexpected side-effect of making patients feel more involved and have a much greater appreciation of their doctors because they can hear the doctor’s mind and analytical skills at work. They now have a verbal confirmation of just how much knowledge and skill is being drawn upon in a doctor’s mind. Patients suddenly feel that their doctors are very smart now that they can see this knowledge on display, and this actually increases their satisfaction.
In one study that was conducted, orthopedic surgeons were rated by their patients for satisfaction. On average, these specialists in musculoskeletal trauma and sports injuries rated about 20% in initial satisfaction ratings, likely due to the fact that a lot of “poking and prodding” is necessary to determine the cause of a problem. This approval factor jumped to 85% with the addition of Medical Scribes, as the doctors now had to describe what conditions they were finding and what the implications were for the patients, and the patients enjoyed the flow of information about their condition.
So while a professional ProScribe can keep a doctor more focused on the patient, that focus also means the patient hears more about themselves and this translates into a better examination with a higher rate of satisfaction.