History

The use of medical scribes accelerated roughly 10 years ago, which is largely a direct result of EHR use, as required by healthcare legislation. Under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, the meaningful use of health information technology (HIT) was required to satisfy or avoid certain incentives or penalties. This has placed an exorbitant demand for data entry on healthcare providers, along with increasing documentation requirements for billing and other reporting initiatives.

It was estimated that 20,000 scribes were working in hospitals and medical practices around the country in 2016, with projections of 100,000 scribes by 2020. As a result, medical scribing is the fastest growing healthcare profession in the nation.

Results

When unencumbered from a significant portion of EHR data entry, healthcare providers have experienced various positive outcomes, such as:

  • Patient encounters are closed faster
  • Visits are billed more appropriately given increased accuracy and completeness from real-time documentation
  • Patient satisfaction is improved due to increased face-to-face time
  • Provider wellness is maximized from improved job satisfaction and quality of life
  • Patient volume increases