• What organizations can do to reduce EHR time and physician burnout

    Seat in a doctors office examination room

    A recent study1 of a remote scribe pilot program in a primary care practice found that it saved physicians nearly 70 minutes of EHR time per day and reduced their chances of burnout by 85%, as measured with the 10-item Mini-Z and 16-item Professional Fulfillment Index. Researchers reported that the findings remained significant in adjusted analyses, and they concluded that organizations should invest in documentation assistants to improve physician wellness.

    In the study, remote scribes employed by an outside contracting agency were paired with physicians via an audio-only cellphone connection to hear and document visits in the EHR in real time. The study did not address in-person scribes. They are typically members of the care team such as medical assistants, advanced practice providers, or technicians who have been trained for the scribe role in-house, although they may also be provided through an outsourced vendor.

    A separate review of the literature on scribes found the following:2

    • Increased physician productivity — including a 10.5% increase in work relative value units and an 8.8% increase in patients seen per hour,
    • Improved physician satisfaction — including a 57% increase in their time spent with patients and a 27% decrease in their time spent charting,
    • No significant change in patient satisfaction with care.

    1. Micek MA, Arndt B, Baltus JJ, et al. The effect of remote scribes on primary care physicians’ wellness, EHR satisfaction, and EHR use. Healthc. 2022;10(4):100663.

    2. Lyon C, Holmstrom H, McDaniel M, Serlin D. What can a scribe do for you? Fam Pract Manag. 2020;27(6):17-22.

    Posted on Feb. 6, 2023, by FPM Editors

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