Nearly every doctor practicing today chose their career path because they were passionate about becoming a physician. The necessary sacrifices and grueling training are just too demanding for those without the passion to make a difference in their patients’ lives. The realities, however, of practicing medicine today have worn down that passion, resulting in low job satisfaction. In fact, close to 50 percent of physicians report feeling professional burnout.
The Stress of Administrative Burdens
Modern healthcare can be a balancing act for physicians in more ways than one. The pressure to compile reports and complete necessary forms for meaningful use, insurance compliance, Medicare regulations, and the Affordable Care Act all can make doctors feel like a cog in an elaborate machine. Physicians want to focus on patient care and coordination, not paperwork and planning.
Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems and the continually increasing burden of documentation and administrative tasks have changed the daily life of physicians. For decades, physicians hoped EHR systems would be their saving grace, helping them manage the overwhelming demands of practicing medicine. Instead, for some, EHRs have become more of a hindrance than the very problems they were intended to solve.
According to a time-motion study conducted by the American Medical Association (AMA), an increasingly large portion of a physician’s work day is now occupied by data entry into EHRs. Further, from 2011 to 2014, 54 percent of physicians surveyed said they experience some signs of burnout. That’s an increase of 46 percent over the three-year period. The burden of working with EHRs is listed as a key factor.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel: Medical Scribes to the Rescue
Medical scribes can help physicians get back to connecting with patients resulting in a win-win situation - improved job and patient satisfaction. Scribes are responsible for capturing medical information and EHR data entry during the patient visit. This allows the physician to focus on bedside manner and provide hands-on, attentive care.
Researchers found a medical scribe improved overall physician satisfaction with their work by freeing them from administrative duties and improving face-to-face patient interactions. Utilizing scribes to perform administrative tasks and handle EHR entry in medical offices may be the solution to reduce physician stress and dissatisfaction.
The Quality of Patient Care
When the medical scribe handles administrative tasks on the physician’s behalf, it leads to increased productivity, empathy for patients, and improved overall communication. Open and clear communication plays a large part in compassionate care, yet many physicians feel they no longer have the time for more personalized care.
Depersonalization in patient care threatens patient safety. When a the medical scribe allows at he physician to put down the computer, be face to face, the interaction quality increases. Additionally, studies have shown that that ere poor well being and burnout are associated with poor patient safety outcomes such as medical errors is a significant correlation between physician burnout and poor well being and worse patient safety many It’s no secret physicians who experience burnout show are more likely to wellbeing found subjectively rate patient safety lower in their practice. In fact, many admit to having made mistakes or delivering substandard care. These issues are alleviated with the support of a good medical scribe.
Ultimately, scribes can help to create a workplace in which physicians can thrive. And that’s better for doctors, the facility at which they practice, and, most importantly, for patients.