Oncology Scribes – Help More Time Doctoring And Less Time Charting

Oncology Scribes – Help More Time Doctoring And Less Time Charting

Oct 15,2021

Oncology Scribes – Help More Time Doctoring And Less Time Charting

Oncologists are typically busy seeing almost a dozen patients a day, often under extremely emotional situations. That is why it is important for oncologists to display excellent bedside manners, spend sufficient time on patient encounters and provide a great level of compassionate care. Amid all this documenting every bit of patient information with the goal of improving diagnosis and care, could be highly challenging. Adding to that, medical reimbursement issues, the emotional toll of caring for terminally ill patients, and onerous regulatory requirements have made oncologists, overworked, overtired and overwhelmed. This is where the services of oncology scribes kick in.

Too little time on patient-centered care and too much time on EHR care

A study published by the Medscape Oncologist Compensation Report 2018 states that 46% of oncologists spend 16 minutes or even less per patient. But imagine the number of concerns and questions the patient and their family members have. Moreover, 43% of the oncologists said that they spent more than 20 hours per week or even more on administrative tasks and 85% reported that they spent 10 hours or more every week to get their administrative tasks done. End result – you have a prescription for widespread burnout and dissatisfaction. Burnout levels in oncologists have reached a crisis point with various studies showing an incidence of over 50%. Greater workloads on account of increasing documentation and administrative demands in an oncology practice are a major contributing factor.

Improve patient-centered care, physician satisfaction and cost efficiency

  • Patient care quality: Oncologist can spend more face time with the patients as the scribe is documenting the information that is being shared. They were able to devote more time to making eye contact and addressing all their concerns without having to worry about notes. This helps to develop a personalized approach that allows the oncologist to connect deeper and provide patient-centered care.
  • Physician satisfaction: Oncology scribes greatly improve the oncologist’s ability to complete their charts in a timely manner, thus enhancing their work-life balance. They were able to leave the clinic on-time and spend some quality time outside of work with family and friends. Most importantly, with no after-hours paperwork, oncologists were able to find time to unwind or do the things they love the most.
  • Cost benefit: Oncologists were able to see more patients by utilizing the services of scribes. They were able to see two new oncology patients in a week to offset the cost of the scribe. Most importantly, they saw an increase in their work relative value units and efficiency by adding a scribe to their practice.

The Upshot

Oncologists’ documentation needs increase and the existing EHR technology fails to alleviate the workload. The use of oncology scribes holds the key to reducing documentation overload and spending more time with patients. Integrating scribes into oncology practices across several oncology disciplines has been shown to reduce burnout levels by enhancing physician satisfaction, improving quality of care and increasing clinical workflow efficiency.

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