For physicians, running a successful medical practice is no easy task. From seeing patients and dealing with administrative tasks to creating clinical documentation there is so much on their plate. Using a human scribe or an AI scribe can take over much of the administrative tasks associated with documentation, while also improving efficiency and accuracy of the documentation process. This blog post discusses in detail what human scribes and AI scribes are and gives you the pros and cons of each in order to help you make the right choice that best fits your practice’s needs.
What is a human scribe?
A human scribe is a healthcare professional who concurrently documents patient encounters, helps manage workflow and locates any medical records pertinent to the case at hand. When using human medical scribes, you can choose between an in-office scribe and a virtual scribe. A virtual medical scribe is a professional who remotely accompanies the physician during patient visits, takes notes and documents directly into the EHRs in real-time. Virtual medical scribes work for medical scribing companies who outsource them to medical practices, virtually.
What is an AI scribe?
An AI-powered scribe automates clinical documentation using machine learning (ML) algorithms and natural language processing (NLP) techniques. An AI scribe system listens to conversations between a physician and a patient that occur naturally during an encounter and automatically converts them into clinical notes in real-time. The use of AI scribes has been on the rise in the recent years as physicians are looking for EHR automation of their practices. However, many physicians are hesitant to rely on and trust AI scribes as they lack accuracy that could lead to patient safety issues.
AI scribes vs. human scribes
The following are some of the pros and cons of hiring AI scribes and human scribes
AI scribes pros and cons
The biggest benefit of AI scribe technology is its time and cost saving features. AI scribes are faster than manually keying in patient notes and are also cost-effective when compared to human scribes.
On the downside, AI generated notes lack accuracy, completeness, relevance, and comprehensibility. This is because the AI system lacks critical thinking and can incorrectly interpret the visit. Without proper monitoring it can pose a lot of safety issues that can have a severe negative impact on the patient’s health.
Human scribes pros and cons
Human scribes are capable of consistently producing highly accurate and complete notes that are crucial to delivering safe patient care.
On the downside human scribes are slower and could cost your practice more in the long run.
However, if you choose to use a virtual medical scribe from Scribe4Me you can cut on your costs as our prices are as low as $14 per hour. There’s no contract or minimum commitment. So, all you have to do is pay for what you use.
Both human scribes and AI –assisted scribes provide documentation assistance to maximize physician time and patient care. Both, but in different ways, aim at reducing the physician’s administrative workload and enable patient-centered interactions. An AI scribe is a novel approach to reduce physician workload but lacks the human scribes’ successful history of utilization and also needs more in-depth research and analysis. Yes, human scribes will continue to remain the standard practise in the scribing industry. They have been reliably used for over a decade and have demonstrated incredible benefits for physicians. Now, it is your responsibility as a physician to weigh up the pros and cons of both modalities and arrive at the decision that best suits your practice and its needs.
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Documentation is an important daily clinical responsibility. In order to optimize patient care, physicians are always on the lookout for new ways to effectively and efficiently document patient visits.
The use of virtual medical scribes has become increasingly popular in the recent years, as medical practices across the country are on the constant lookout for ways to reduce clinical documentation overload, thereby improving overall productivity.
The clerical burden associated with EHR usage is attributed as the number one cause of physician burnout. We also know that physicians spend twice as much time on EHRs and other clerical tasks compared to the time providing patient care.