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Regimen Rundown: An Inside Look at Virtual Scribe Training

An Inside Look at Virtual Scribe Training

You’re tired of charting after clinic, exhausted from trying to complete your charts throughout the day.  You decide to hire a Virtual Scribe service to help you. But where do you begin in your search? How can you be sure that the Virtual Scribe you’re considering will be worth your while?

When it comes to hiring the best Virtual Scribe company, look closely at the training and experience of the Virtual Scribe who will work with you.  Not all Virtual Scribe training regimens are created equal. But chances are, you’ll be able to differentiate the good from the bad almost immediately.

For starters, are the Virtual Scribe trained in medical terminology and coding? Have they worked in your specialty or with your EMR previously? Who trains the Virtual Scribes, and how long is their training process?  And are they certified as Virtual Scribes?

By investing in a Virtual Scribe who has been thoroughly trained and certified, you’re investing in more time for yourself and a lot fewer headaches down the road.

What Sets a Good Medical Scribe Apart?

At Physicians Angels, our Virtual Scribes are trained to listen in to the encounter between the physician and his or her patients in real-time. From there, the Virtual Scribe is responsible for entering clinical information relevant to the patient visit—HPI, findings from the Review of Systems/Physical Examination, procedures, orders and medications—and for documenting the assessment and plan. Additionally, our Virtual Scribes complete a host of after-hours tasks, including operation notes, referral letters, and patient insurance eligibility verification checks.

Scribe Orientation and Training

Each new Virtual Scribe hire at Physicians Angels undergoes three-to-four months of training and mentoring before they work with any healthcare provider. Their training begins with an elaborate induction program detailing their job responsibilities, along with our organizational norms and procedures. Our Virtual Scribe candidates then begin subject learning that includes classroom learning in medical terminology, Anatomy and Physiology, and specialty-specific training of body systems and medical conditions. They are also trained in specialty-specific procedures and medications to help recognize certain health conditions.

Furthermore, Physicians Angels’ Virtual Scribes are trained on the features and functionalities of multiple EMR systems, Meaningful Use, HIPAA, and best practices in clinical documentation. Then, through independent, third-party educational institutions, we certify our scribes on HIPAA, and in some cases, certify them as "super users" on some EMRs.

Finally, the Virtual Scribe candidate's classroom training is followed by two months of on-the-job training that requires the Virtual Scribe to participate in real-time demos and shadow with experienced, senior Scribe mentors in the work of a Virtual Scribe.

Virtual Scribe Competency Assessment

For a Virtual Scribe candidate to be considered competent to work as an FTE Virtual Scribe with Physicians Angels, he or she undergoes three levels of assessments. The assessments begin with our Learning & Development department, followed by an assessment by our company's Production department, and finally, approval from our Quality department.

The main factors considered in the Virtual Scribe candidates' assessment include domain knowledge; ability to listen to the physician-patient discussion and input all the relevant findings and data correctly within a given EMR system, interpersonal and communication skills, and initiative.

Virtual Scribe Performance Evaluation

In addition to weekly internal audits from our Quality Control team, our Virtual Scribes are evaluated every month on their development of domain knowledge, interpersonal skills, and functional skills (typing, EMR proficiency and familiarity, efficiency, work completion turn-around time). Once a quarter, we perform a routine follow-up with providers to acquire feedback on the Virtual Scribe’s performance and to understand areas of improvement. We have independent audit teams employed on staff who work with our Scribes and their managers to identify areas for improvement.

The ROI of Virtual Scribe Training

By investing in a Virtual Scribe with a firm training foundation, you are investing in a medical scribe service that is sure to pay you dividends long term when it comes to not only your time and money, but also your peace of mind.

Physicians Angels provides Virtual Scribe and Virtual Back-office services to thousands of physicians throughout the United States. Our goal is to give physicians their time back, allow them to better manage their work/life balance, increase the quality of patient care, and increase their revenue production. 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.