Friday, August 9, 2013

Are Medical Scribes Worth The Investment?

Are Medical Scribes Worth The Investment? A study was produced on whether or not scribes are worth the investment.  Two different hospital emergency departments were studied.

Some benefits of scribes:
  • Can assist higher acuity emergency departments who struggle with long patient stays.
  • Assist in decreasing the amount of patients leaving without being seen (LWBS)
  • Assist with challenging EMRs (electronic medical record systems)
What does a scribe do?
  • A scribe enters information into an EMR or chart directed by a physician or practitioner.
The study weighed the cost of the scribes' salaries against the return value as well as observed the following factors to see if a scribe was worth the investment:
  • Patients per hour
  • Relative value unit capture
  • Number of billable patients
  • Reduction in hours of coverage
  • Number of down-coded charts
  • Pulse oximetry and rhythm strip capture
  • Length of stay for patients
  • Door-to-doctor times
    • The above factors were observed at two different hospitals. One hospital had an annual volume of 65,000 patients and the other hospital had an annual volume of 68,000 patients. 
    • Overall, measuring the two hospitals against the parameters listed above, the hospitals showed improvements with the additional of a scribe.
    • The cost for a scribe was about $20 an hour or they can also be measured at 20% productivity of the physician.
To view the full article as well as the percentages of improvements for the parameters, please click the following link: Are Medical Scribes Worth the Investment?

For additional billing and coding resources, please click the following link: Medical Reimbursement, Inc. Resources Page.