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The Rise of the Virtual Scribe

Time. It’s something we all wish we had more of in one aspect of our lives or another. But, for many clinicians, more time for their personal lives seems harder than ever to come by. For them, more time is not just of the essence. It’s of the necessity.

Ask nearly any clinician, and you’ll likely hear the same answer: Finding the elusive work-life balance is often just a far-fetched dream. But why is that balance so hard to achieve? In short, the answer is documentation. In fact, according to a 2017 report from the Annals of Internal Medicine, for every hour that a clinician spends with patients, he or she spends nearly two hours on EHR and desk work. There just isn’t enough time to do it all and do it well.

Enter Virtual Scribing. As a modern-day riff on standard medical scribing, a Virtual Scribe provides real-time documentation assistance—all without the scribe actually being in the room. During the appointment, a Virtual Scribe is connected remotely via a secure connection to record anything and everything that the patient and doctor discuss. The scribe then takes that information and enters it directly into the clinician’s specific EMR system.

The intention, of course, is to take the burden of administrative work off of the clinicians themselves. Not only does this service allow clinicians to remain focused on their patients and the care that they’re providing, it also drastically cuts down on the amount of work they’re taking home with them at night—and even allows them the necessary time to add on two additional patient visits per day according to an updated 2021 report from the Annals of Internal Medicine.

For many clinicians, scribing is nothing new. In fact, medical scribes have been making their mark in the healthcare industry for decades. The premise of Virtual Scribes, though, is more of a recent revelation. Their roots go back to the early 2000s when the rise of technology allowed for secure, offsite scribes to connect to the exam room.

Virtual Scribe Benefits Quick to Pay Off

Almost immediately, the many benefits that Virtual Scribes brought to the table became hard to beat. Their ability to document office visits via an audio connection from another location—and then input every significant detail directly into the clinician’s own specific EMR system—became an instant game changer for healthcare workers everywhere. On average, clinicians began to see an additional 10 invaluable hours being added back to the life side of their work-life balance. And, with the addition of two extra patient visits per day, Virtual Scribes pay for themselves financially, as well.

Today, Virtual Scribes continue to thrive. They’re decreasing burnout in clinicians and increasing productivity in offices across the globe. As their popularity continues to grow, the services that Virtual Scribes offer also continue to expand. Back-office services, for instance, have become a welcome addition for office staff members who are dealing with additional documentation demands in the wake of the global pandemic. It’s just another way that this technology-based service has changed the face of healthcare as we once knew it.

It wasn’t so long ago that the thought of checking charting off of their never-ending to-do list was something that many clinicians never thought possible. Thanks to the rise of the Virtual Scribe, that far-fetched dream has now become a reality.

Physicians Angels provides virtual scribe and virtual back-office services to thousands of physicians throughout the United States. To learn more, contact Physicians Angels.

About the author

Physicians Angels

More time for physicians to see more patients, provide better care, and live their lives. Physicians Angels provides one-of-a-kind EMR data management services to healthcare providers through our real time Virtual Scribe service.