The future marches ever onward, and the medical profession is one that benefits the most from this progress. New developments in medicine don’t just yield more advanced technologies, but save lives. And this chain of positive effect can come from any direction. The Electronic Health Record, for example, is helping to keep medical data about patients more efficient and organized.
But alongside the embrace of the digital format for patient records, digital data collection is now slowly integrating into the everyday lives of patients outside the clinic or hospital. Medical devices and software are now being developed and tested that take some of the diagnosis out of a single visit scenario, and make health monitoring a daily aspect of normal life. Remote monitoring devices can keep both patients and their caregivers informed about vital signs like pulse and heartrate. New software evaluates patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and documents the condition of the hippocampus to better keep tabs on patient condition.
We are now approaching an age where medical information may be potentially available at all times, and medical practitioners will have unprecedented access to medical data not just at the time of a consultation or after a scheduled series of tests. With future devices recording medical data during everyday life, physicians and nurse practitioners can consolidate valuable, long term information that can make their diagnosis more accurate and efficient.
Of course, this also means that there will be much more data to collect and collate. This increase in data will require more time to properly organize, so it’s quite likely that the role of the Medical Scribe will only increase in value as data becomes larger and more complex. If a patient is admitted that has wearable medical devices that have been dutifully collecting large amounts of data every day, this “hand off” of information can go to the Medical Scribe, rather than the physician, and can be collated and analyzed later, rather than take up valuable consultation time when a patient should be talked to and treated.
The future of medicine continues to be full of promise and advancement, but it will be more complex as well. Medical scribes are one more answer to the question of how to make sure none of this valuable information gets lost in the flood.