eMedicine Is Helping Patients But Harming Doctors

As more data comes in on modern healthcare practices, one thing is becoming abundantly clear; there are growing demands on a doctor or nurse practitioner’s time, but fewer resources and time in which to get things done, and this deficit is only getting worse.

The debut of the EHR or Electronic Health Record, is one of the most recent systems implemented that is theoretically a benefit to everyone. In reality it is putting a strain on medical staff. The idea itself is sound. An ongoing, easily accessible electronic document on a patient’s medical data can benefit a doctor looking up a new patient, can benefit a hospital with keeping up to date archives, and can greatly benefit insurance companies that need specific treatment data in order to process their payments.

However, the depth of information that is required to satisfy all of these demands takes a lot of clerical and information management skill. This is not the primary focus of a doctor or nurse practitioner, who is at a clinic or hospital in order to actually treat patients. Despite that, the burden of filling out the numerous data fields required for a complete EHR falls on them, in addition to the actual duties for which they are hired.

The Slow Grind

This has created a system in which the actual productivity and effectiveness of medical staff is impaired by the need to manage data, which should fall on the shoulders of qualified clerical staff. The need to impose this kind of “dual specialization” on medical staff increases both the amount of work they have to do, the amount of time they spend during—and after hours—keeping data current, and increases burn out, fatigue and other negative psychological effects on staff.

A professional medical scribe however, such as those provided by ProScribe, can be a critical tool in maintaining physician productivity. As a staff member that is dedicated specifically to medical data entry, a medical scribe removes a significant amount of data processing responsibility from doctors and nurse practitioners, allowing them to focus on their actual duties, diagnosing and treating patients. Because of this, medical staff can actually spend less time on patients, concentrating on quality, efficient treatment, and move on to the next patient in a significantly faster period of time.

More importantly, however, they can avoid spending extra hours at the clinic or hospital, ensuring that an EHR has been properly filled out. By allowing the medical staff to concentrate on their specific duties and reducing the clerical work they need to manage, there is a big reduction in late hours, stress, data errors, and rushed, poorly detailed reports.

A ProScribe can handle all the relevant data entry that needs to be managed on the spot during a consultation, but can then manage the important ancillary details required to make a fully detailed, useful EHR that benefits administration, archives and insurance companies alike, in addition to the actual needs to preserve patient treatment data. This is a significant boost in efficiency for any medical facility, without impacting the doctor’s ability to work.