COVID-19 has thrust telepsychiatry into the spotlight and is here to stay long after the pandemic. This is because it eliminates the stigma associated with mental illness and also provides increased access to mental and behavioral health services for those living in rural and remote areas. We are aware, that many psychiatric practices protocolized the transition of in-person to virtual medical scribes when the pandemic was at its peak. The reason being, scribes can virtually take part in telepsychiatric consultations to facilitate real-time clinical documentation and enhance provider-patient relationships. Moreover, for a psychiatrist, telehealth can be an additional technological burden when they are already overwhelmed with the typical EHR documentation burden. Hence, hiring the virtual medical scribes to help them with documenting in the EHR will allow them to focus on psychiatric evaluations, patient education, therapies and medication management.
The documentation requirements of telepsychiatry
As with every clinical interaction, clinical documentation of a telepsychiatry visit is crucial, but there are some additional factors that need to be taken into special consideration. This may include documenting the time, date and remote site location, keeping track of how much time was spent talking to the patient directly during the interview and examination and the location of the patient at the time the service was provided. Additionally, the chief complaint, the referral source, the history of present illness, mental status, current treatments including medications and therapies, the diagnosis and the proposed treatment plan are the others components of the clinical encounter that needs to be documented. Do you think it’s possible to comply with all these documentation requirements while focusing on your patients mental health needs? Sounds challenging isn't it? That is why it is a sensible approach to partner with a virtual medical scribe who can manage the EHR in real-time so that you can focus on more important things like evaluations and diagnoses, providing counseling and therapy or prescribing medications.
Physician-patient relationships and the therapeutic rapport
Relationship building is made possible in telepsychiatry. In the case of videoconferencing-based telepsychiatric assessments it provides the psychiatrist with an opportunity to establish a rapport with the patients. The psychiatrist has to look at the camera in order to make the eye contact needed to build a rapport with your patient. It also allows the psychiatrist to watch out for and detect non-verbal clues, if any. Taking notes may be perceived as being distracted or not engaged in the consultation and may come in the way of developing a rapport. Hence, hiring the medical scribes for documentation support can help focus on building a rapport with the patient, ultimately improving patient compliance with treatment, clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.
What do psychiatry virtual scribes do?
No physician has ever said that they love paperwork, including a psychiatrist. Yet, the success of any psychiatric practice depends on great quality notes as it supports a physician’s goal to provide high quality care. Behavioral and mental health care practices have different documentation needs when compared to other specialties. They gather more intensive data from various screening tools and on-going treatments. Virtual medical scribes understand the nuances and workflows of behavioral and mental health care practices, allowing you to focus on patient care activities and run a profitable practice. They are extensively trained to take comprehensive yet concise, psychiatric notes to be compliant with the requirements for telehealth. Your notes are complete at the end of each telepsychiatry session, thus eliminating the unnecessary note pile-up that occurs in many practices. Simply put, virtual scribes provide accurate, thorough and consistent notes that are not only required for getting paid and providing the right care, but also to protect against lawsuits.
If you are a psychiatrist providing telepsychiatry services do not hesitate to take help from Scribe4Me's professionally trained psychiatry medical scribes. We have a team of certified scribes who can reduce your documentation workload and help you to focus on more important tasks like psychiatric evaluations, therapies, counseling, prescribing medications etc., To learn more about how our medical scribes can virtually take part in telepsychiatry appointments in an effort to streamline documentation and enhance the patient-physician relationships reach us as (908)760-8935 or email us at [email protected].
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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.