Do Psychiatry Scribes Foster Better Physician-Patient Relationships?

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May 20, 2023

Do Psychiatry Scribes Foster Better Physician-Patient Relationships?

The physician-patient relationship is an important determinant in ensuring quality patient care and better health outcomes. The nature of this relationship can either enhance or impede the assessment, diagnosis and treatment. In psychiatry it is even more crucial as a therapeutic relationship facilitates the healing process. But is it ever possible in a time where digital health records are completely changing the way healthcare providers and patients are interacting with each other? Yes, the burden of unwieldy electronic health records is negatively impacting the quality of psychiatrist–patient interactions and communication. Psychiatrists are often conflicted between inputting data into the EHR and giving one-on-one attention to their patients. Scribes come to their rescue. Hiring psychiatric scribes is a perfect way to alleviate documentation burden and focus entirely on evaluating and treating patients with mental illness rather than interacting with computers.

Nature of psychiatric consultation and need for good physician-patient relationship

Generally, a psychiatric consultation comprises of three components. First a psychiatrist asks detailed questions in order to gather the necessary information to come up with the right diagnosis. Then they focus on building a therapeutic relationship with the patient. Finally, they initiate various therapeutic measures. The quality of the relationship between the psychiatrist and the patient is a key factor in ensuring optimal therapeutic outcomes. It not only helps in collecting better data, but also improves compliance with treatment modalities in order to achieve better therapeutic results. But psychiatrists spend too much time wrestling with the computer and not enough time directly communicating with their patients. This literally hurts their relationships with patients. Opting to hire a psychiatry virtual scribe to provide the much-needed documentation assistance can improve physician-patient relationships. Good relationships foster better communication, higher patient satisfaction, improved diagnostic accuracy, increased adherence to therapeutic plans and the most desirable outcomes.

Nature of mental health documentation and need for scribes

One of the most crucial aspects of psychiatric care is documentation. Accurate and detailed documentation supports medical decision making, justifies reimbursement for services, protects against malpractice lawsuits and meets regulatory requirements. A mental health evaluation involves asking a series of questions to understand why the patient has come in and what symptoms they are experiencing. The patients general appearance, speech, emotional expressions, thinking and perception and cognitive functions are assessed for a broader, more detailed mental status examination. Entering notes during a psychiatric appointment may make the patient feel that you are focusing at the computer rather than paying attention to their concerns. Doing it after the appointment makes you forget important details and also feel burdened by the additional time it requires after a busy day of appointment. Bringing in psychiatric virtual scribes to your exam room allows psychiatrists to relate to the patient rather than to the keyboard. Making time to truly listen to your patients and their concerns can strengthen physician -patient relationships leading to better health outcomes.

What does the psychiatric virtual medical scribe do?

The psychiatric medical scribes are skilled professionals who remotely assist psychiatrists in documenting patient encounters in real-time, including patient history, examination findings, and treatment plans. The scribe notes the psychiatrist’s verbal instructions and observations straight into the patient’s electronic health records. This allows the psychiatrist to perform a thorough mental health assessment - closely observe the patients to see if they might have a mental problem and what type of treatment could help. In general, a psychiatric medical scribe helps psychiatrists to provide more effective and efficient care by documenting findings from patient exams and assessments directly into the EHRs. With psychiatric scribes bearing the EHR workload, a psychiatrist has more time to spend with their patient, which makes it easier for them to uphold the patient-physician relationship.

Are you a psychiatrist who feels that EHR documentation affects communication and ruins your relationships with patients? We have a solution for you. Scribe4Me has a pool of certified psychiatric scribes who can assist with documenting patient encounters allowing you to spend more time talking with patients and building better relationships. And ultimately a good relationship is crucial for the patient to establish a connection, remain in and benefit from the therapy.

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