Can Scribes Ease Podiatry Practice Paperwork Burden?

virtual medical scribe cost

Mar 02, 2023

Can Scribes Ease Podiatry Practice Paperwork Burden?

More and more people are seeing a podiatrist on a regular basis to maintain their foot health and the freedom to move. Podiatrists treat a variety of ailments affecting the lower leg, ankle, and foot. They also treat foot-related complications arising from ongoing conditions, like diabetes. Providing care at the same time documenting the encounter can be challenging for busy podiatrists. It turns out that, with voluminous documentation needed for every patient visit, podiatrists spend a significant portion of their time trying to maintain compliance. According to Cindy Pezza, President, CEO, lead podiatry consultant of Pinnacle Practice Achievement, podiatrists spend most of their time documenting care and diagnosing and treating foot conditions is just a piece of the puzzle. We know that the time it takes to chart patient visits and care is the number one cause of physician burnout. Hence, using podiatric medical scribes is one proposed way to reduce the burnout and burden associated with documenting patient care.

Need for podiatry medical scribes

The amount of charting required in a podiatric medical practice is staggering. Podiatrists spend hours inputting information, long after the last patient has checked out just to complete their day's charting. Moreover, podiatrists tried fitting in as many patients as possible into their daily calendar in order to combat the decrease in reimbursements. This made it nearly impossible to complete notes during the day, and ended up in increased stress due to long hours and more paperwork. Additionally, increasing compliance and documentation demands have made it difficult for podiatrists to build a good rapport with their patients. In the end, the physician-patient relationship a key driver of clinical outcomes was compromised. It was here the need for podiatric scribes was felt.

How podiatry scribes can help foot doctors

Podiatry scribes provide the much needed documentation support allowing podiatrists to focus on patients and not paperwork. Dr. David Laurino an Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialist at Arizona Sports Medicine Center said that he was able the leave the clinic by 5 after treating his last patient just within two weeks of incorporating a virtual scribe in his practice. Podiatric scribes help physicians regain their work-life balance, improve patient experience and reduce stress levels, all while significantly reducing documentation time. Scribes are indeed a good investment as they increase the number of patients seen per day by taking over much of the documentation workload. And an increase in patient volume means more revenue for the practice. Podiatrists were also able to deliver face-to-face care with ample eye contact and empathy, which improved physician-patient relationships, patient engagement and adherence to care plans. In short, patients enjoyed a more personal visit from the provider.

A pilot study by Vancover clinic, Washington on scribe usage

A six month pilot study was conducted from October 2011 through March 2012, among 13 providers from 5 specialties including podiatry to find out if medical scribes were a plausible solution. It turned out that podiatrists were able to focus more on patients, add more patients to their schedule, and reduce non-patient care time, all while generating additional revenue that was more than enough to offset the cost of the scribes. Scribes also significantly improved provider satisfaction across all aspects of patient care and documentation. Nevertheless, the benefits go beyond dollars and data. Physician-patient relationships improved as podiatrists were able to better interact and connect with their patients without the computer barrier. After all human interactions matter the most in healthcare.

The upshot

Are you a podiatrist feeling frustrated that you can't just do what you enjoy doing - treating your patient without all the documentation obligations? Do you feel self-charting in EHRs deters from providing patient-centered care? Well, then it's time to take a closer look at the scribe service. Scribe4Me has a pool of podiatry medical scribes adept in all common foot conditions, procedures and foot care terminology to consistently ensure accurate charts. Our scribes are experienced in all of the latest podiatric EMR software and provide accurate documentation, while you focus on helping people get on their feet. For more information on our podiatry specialty scribes reach us at (908)736-4180.

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