Paperwork Pressure Continues – Are Orthopedic Scribes a Life changer?

virtual medical scribe cost

May 11, 2023

Paperwork Pressure Continues – Are Orthopedic Scribes a Life changer?

Orthopedic surgeons across the nation are facing ever-increasing challenges in practicing medicine and managing their practices. One of the most significant challenges that they face is the overwhelming amount of paperwork that they have to do on a daily basis. If orthopedic surgeons were asked to chart their feelings about practicing medicine, it wouldn't be a surprise if many listed "paperwork" as their chief complaint. Yes, orthopedic physicians tend to see more patients than other specialties, so they have even more paperwork to keep up with. Are you an orthopedic surgeon probably spending several hours on paperwork on top of treating your patients? Does it almost look like your second full-time job that sucks your time and energy? Well, using scribes to do the documentation in the EHR, frees you from the burden of constant note taking that negatively impacts your ability to provide the highest quality of care. Read on to learn more on how a scribe can be a game changer.

Life changing (scribe) experiences of leading orthopedic surgeons

G. Klaud Miller, MD, who runs a private practice in Chicago and member of the AAOS Practice Management Committee, says that in her experience scribes allow focusing entirely on the patient without the need to write notes or type on the computer.

Mark Floyd, MD, a sports medicine and general orthopedic surgeon at the Harbin Clinic in Rome, GA says that he usually stayed until 6 or 7p.m. just to get his charts done. He has two kids and getting home late meant missing family dinner. Now that he has a scribe to take over the documentation tasks he is able to get home shortly after his last clinic visit. He says he values his time with kids and scribes help to maintain his work-life balance.

Dr. Chad Patton, MD, a board certified orthopedic surgeon in Annapolis, Maryland, said using a scribe has completely changed his life. He had more time and energy to do the things he loves to do, which made him super happy overall. Prior to using the scribe service, he was using the voice-to-dictation software where he had to spend 1.5 hours after the clinic just to catch up with his days charting. He used the scribe service on a one-day trial basis which made him see a remarkable difference. He was able to better connect with his patients and time spent documenting care significantly dropped to 15 to 20 minutes a day.

Quite interestingly, research supports all three of their experiences. A scribe pilot program conducted by Vinod E. Nambudiri, M.D., from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston along with her colleagues reported that scribes reduced dermatologist documentation time, improved physician efficiency and increased job satisfaction.

Scribe experiences shared by a Physical Therapist and HR professional

Spence Southall, a physical therapist at Abilene Bone & Joint Clinic in Abilene, TX said many of their orthopedic surgeons typed with one finger while staring at their computers. The clinic opted to hire the scribes to enable them to interact with patients and practice orthopedic medicine. He says that scribes are indispensable and almost all physicians in their practice have a scribe to assist them with their EHR documentation. Mr. Southall says that when their physicians leave the clinic they are done with the documentation for the day. Besides documentation, their scribes also support in many other ways like obtaining authorizations for MRIs and surgeries, managing daily surgery schedules, refilling prescriptions and even assigning codes.

Lauren Kaiser, PHR, SHRM-SCP, chief human resources officer at Tri-State Orthopedics in Evansville, Ind., said that virtual medical scribes also work great by providing real-time documentation assistance. When Tim Hamby, MD, of Tri-State Orthopedics was seeing 70 patients a day and felt overworked he had trouble finding an in-house scribe or source locally. One leading virtual scribing company opted to provide flexible solutions and it worked great for them.

Physicians, particularly orthopedic surgeons are literally drowning in paperwork. We are aware that documentation burden is linked to rising physician burnout rates and needs to be stopped in its tracks. A per a survey, 80% of orthopedic physicians claimed that paperwork negatively impacts patient interactions and 73% of orthopedic physicians reported taking unfinished charts home. Although, the majority of orthopedic physicians surveyed were willing to take scribe support to ease their documentation burden, trusting those services to deliver high quality notes that reflect their specialty and practice are key considerations. Well, are you an orthopedic surgeon looking for a trustworthy scribe service? Scribe4Me is one such company that you can count on. We have a pool of highly trained and certified orthopedic medical scribes who make sure your charts are accurate and complete so you can focus on patient care. Get in touch with us and avail a 15 day free trial offer. You will never regret it. Scribe4Me’s medical scribe service will be a game changer.

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