There is a prevalence in professions of all kinds to dismiss the youngsters and the new kids as newbies, wimps, and inexperienced whiners. Partly it’s the generation gap, the inability of two different age groups to look eye-to-eye after having lived through different eras at different times in their lives. But while older doctors tend to look at burnout as a thing that happens to interns and residents, the term has been around for decades and older doctors are, if anything, more likely to suffer burnout than young doctors who have recently survived their residency.
Let’s face it: the top medical schools in America aren’t at the top because their textbooks are somehow more accurate than a less expensive school’s or because their professors are all the best at teaching, they’re at the top because they provide students with connections that can get them high-paying jobs and a name on their résumé which can open a lot of doors.
The medical profession demands a lot more years in school than the average career, and medical schools don’t let just anyone into their ranks. This is especially true of the big schools whose names alone can get you hired to the hospital of your choice, and they look for more than just a perfect MCAT score when they’re deciding whom to let in and whom to put on the endless waiting list.
A professional medical scribe like the ones we train at ProScribe is one more layer of authentication to help prevent medical error and ensure more safety for patients. By allowing medical practitioners to focus their efforts on diagnosis and patient communication, this ensures both a better consultation and clearer focus for patients.
Medical scribes work alongside licensed practitioners as documentation and throughput assistants. The scribes accompany the practitioner into the exam room and document the practitioner-patient encounter as the practitioner and patient verbalize it. The practitioner may also dictate the patient encounter to the scribe after the encounter takes place.
One of the undeniable takeaways of using professional medical scribes is that they save time and keep data organized. In a typical day, a medical scribe at a hospital or clinic can save hours from a medical practitioner’s day by letting the practitioner concentrate on patients and diagnosis, rather than data entry.
The days of a quickly written, barely legible, assessment and plan for your clinic patients are long gone. There are certainly pros and cons regarding the evolution to more thorough medical documentation. Advantages aside, medical documentation especially of the “Electronic” variety is awkward, slow, repetitive, and impersonal. Assuming your practice has already made the transition to an electronic health record, you have probably seen a significant drop in productivity and a decline in provider satisfaction.
When people used a professional medical scribe, like the ones we train at ProScribe, it’s often the case that clients don’t realize just how much of a difference a scribe can make in a clinic or ED. They may understand superficially that a scribe is helping to take some of the load off of more administrative or bureaucratic activities, but that usefulness can go far beyond typical expectation.
The field of medicine in America is always a challenging one, with some obstacle, concern or controversy that needs to be addressed. Unfortunately for the doctors and nurse practitioners of the coming decades, there is a very large, long term problem on the horizon that is going to create a lot of problems.
We live in an age where medicine is a more personal process than ever before. As we unravel the genetic code, we learn which genes tend to invite diseases and which genes tend to fight them off. As we gather information about nutrition and exercise, we learn which activities and eating habits lead to chronic diseases and which promote good health.
Often when talking about how a professional medical scribe can help in a medical setting, the obvious benefits are that a scribe will listen to a doctor or nurse practitioner, taking down the notes a clinician would otherwise have to make for him or herself, and then go on to enter that documentation into the EHR, saving the actual medical staff a lot of time and allowing them to concentrate on the patient, not the patient’s required forms.
Some things sound like common sense when you think about them, but don’t actually put them to the test, such as the novice cook thinking that if a chicken takes four hours to roast in an oven at 400 degrees, then maybe by increasing the temperature to 800 degrees, you can cook it in two hours instead.
One of the most common arguments that the management of a clinic, or the department heads at a hospital will have about the idea of bringing a medical scribe into a facility is the concern about expense. Few medical facilities have stacks of money just lying around for impulsive spending, and many believe that bringing in a scribe, with the attendant salary and possible employee benefits that may entail, is just an added expense that will severely impact the overall budget.
America has a growing problem with prescription opioids. The number of people abusing drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin only seem to be growing from one year to the next, and it’s unavoidably true that the number of overdose deaths from opioid overdoses, including overdoses from both legal prescription drugs and illegal drugs like heroin, are only going up. At this point, opioid overdose has surpassed car accidents as the number one preventable fatality among adults.
There’s a movement within the medical community called OpenNotes which is quickly gaining traction across the United States. The idea is that doctors should share their notes with their patients, who do have a right to see them, and while some physicians are leery at first, the implementation of OpenNotes has received nothing but positive feedback.
The prescription pad (along with prescription printouts) has long been a fixture of modern medicine. Much like a personal check, it’s important to have that piece of paper with a doctor’s signature on it so that a pharmacist can be sure a prescription is legitimate before he or she fills it. Just like modern personal checks, however, prescriptions are starting to go completely online.
It’s been true for decades or even longer that specialty fields are where you find all the money when it comes to the field of medicine. When a doctor encounters an illness that’s at all serious, the specialist comes in to save the day by providing just the right diagnosis and treatment plan, curing the patient and getting all the credit in the process.
Every state seems to be suffering from a shortage of primary care doctors, it seems, but the states that are hardest hit are those which are mostly rural, such as Idaho and Kentucky. Small towns and farming communities just can’t seem to find enough physicians to serve their needs, especially where mental health professionals are concerned, and as such the health of these areas is in serious trouble.