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Scribes: When they're worth it

June 26, 2017

    One of the most popular questions from medical group executives so far this year is "should we provide scribes for our physicians?" Many organizations already deploy and see positive results from scribes in the fast-paced environment of emergency medicine. But continued physician burnout and frustration with electronic medical records (EMRs) has medical group leaders evaluating scribes more broadly.

    Studies suggest scribes improve many aspects of physician practice, including reduced EMR time and improved provider satisfaction and work-life balance. The same literature also shows scribes can positively affect productivity, revenue, patient volumes, and efficiency.

    The biggest obstacle to scribe implementation is cost. In addition to salaries, there are costs associated with the time and overhead necessary to recruit, train, and manage scribes. So, how can medical groups cover scribes' costs and deploy them in a financially-conscious way?

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