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Are Orthopedic Scribes A Real Game Changer?

Orthopedic Scribes

In orthopedic care, accurate documentation is crucial to providing high-quality, effective and safe patient care. Typically, orthopedic surgeons face high documentation demands due to the intricate nature of orthopedic procedures and patient conditions. Detailed documentation is essential for precise diagnosis, treatment planning, and post-operative care. However, the time spent on documentation can detract from the time and focus needed for direct patient care. Hence, opting for scribe support can alleviate this burden, enabling surgeons to devote more time and attention to providing optimal care to their patients. Keep reading to know more about how orthopedic scribes can be a game changer.

Scribe Experiences That Changed The Lives of Eminent Orthopedic Surgeons

G. Klaud Miller, MD, who manages a private practice in Chicago and is a member of the AAOS Practice Management Committee, emphasizes that, based on her experience, scribes enable complete focus on the patient without the need for writing notes or typing at the computer.

Mark Floyd, MD, a sports medicine and general orthopedic surgeon at the Harbin Clinic in Rome, GA, used to find himself staying up late until 6 or 7 p.m. just to complete his charts. This meant missing out on valuable family time, especially with his two children. However, since integrating a scribe into his workflow to handle documentation tasks, he's been able to leave shortly after his last clinic visit. He says that he is now able to spend some quality time with his kids and maintain a better work-life balance.

Dr. Chad Patton, MD, a certified orthopedic surgeon from Annapolis, Maryland, shared how using a scribe completely transformed his life. Before, he would spend 1.5 hours catching up on charts after clinic hours using voice-to-dictation software. But after giving the scribe service a try, he noticed a big change. With more time and energy available, he found greater satisfaction in both his professional and personal life. Additionally, his patient interactions improved, and the time spent documenting care was reduced drastically to just 15 to 20 minutes per day.

Interestingly, research backs up all three of their experiences. A pilot program on scribes, led by Vinod E. Nambudiri, M.D., and colleagues from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, found that scribes decreased dermatologist documentation time, enhanced physician efficiency, and increased job satisfaction.

Orthopedic Scribe Stories Shared by a Physical Therapist and HR Professional

Spence Southall, a physical therapist at Abilene Bone & Joint Clinic in Abilene, TX, mentioned that many of their orthopedic surgeons typed slowly with one finger while focusing on their computers. The clinic decided to hire scribes to allow the surgeons to engage more with patients and focus on treating them. According to Mr. Southall, scribes are essential, and nearly all physicians in their practice now work with a scribe to help with electronic health record (EHR) documentation. He noted that when physicians leave the clinic, their documentation tasks for the day are complete. In addition to documentation, the scribes also assist in various other tasks such as obtaining authorizations for MRIs and surgeries, managing daily surgery schedules, refilling prescriptions, and assigning codes.

Observations on Virtual Orthopedic Scribes

Lauren Kaiser, PHR, SHRM-SCP, the chief human resources officer at Tri-State Orthopedics in Evansville, Indiana, mentioned that virtual orthopedic scribes have proven effective in offering real-time documentation support. When Dr. Tim Hamby, from Tri-State Orthopedics, found himself overwhelmed seeing 70 patients a day and struggled to find an in-house scribe locally, one reputable virtual scribing company offered flexible solutions that worked well for them.

Physicians, especially orthopedic physicians, are overwhelmed with paperwork, leading to rising burnout rates. A survey found that 80% of orthopedic physicians felt paperwork negatively impacted patient interactions, and 73% reported taking unfinished charts home. While most orthopedic physicians surveyed were willing to take scribe support to lighten their documentation burden, having trust in those services to deliver high-quality charts that reflect their specialty and practice remains a crucial factor. Well, if you're an orthopedic surgeon looking for a reliable scribe service provider consider partnering with Physicians Angels, the industry’s first virtual scribe company. Our highly trained and certified orthopedic scribes ensure your charts are accurate and complete, allowing you to focus on providing excellent patient care. Hire an orthopedic scribe today and experience the difference they can make to your practice.

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.