Physicians are more frequently turning to medical scribes to help relieve the growing pressure for electronic documentation in the form of EMRs. Pediatricians benefit from medical scribes because of the unique nature of their specialty and the documentation it requires.
Any physician requires a high IQ and a high EQ to deal with any patient, but when their patients are children, the challenges and complexities are different. Because children cannot always communicate their medical issues, physicians are often tasked with inferring the problem or communicating with both patient and parent. This makes it that much more important that pediatric physicians can focus during a visit. Being distracted by a laptop and entering data into EMRs hinders that focus. Having a pediatric medical scribe shadow physicians and take over the documentation alleviates much of that problem.
The Unique Needs of Pediatric EMRs
Record keeping in a pediatric practice has its own unique challenges. EMRs are typically not designed for the intricacies of pediatric care, but rather, for adult care. In pediatrics, EMRs are forced to document certain actions unique to the care of children, infants, and adolescents that EMRs aren’t always set up to handle. Immunization, for example, is a vital issue in the medical care of children. A pediatrician must record data that ensures they comply with federal laws around vaccination. They must record unique milestones around growth and development that are not always easily entered into EMRs.
It is also difficult to put accurate, descriptive pediatric terms into EMRs. The standard terminology in most EMRs doesn’t include concepts that are important in pediatrics, like family structure, genetic history, social structure that may impact health and wellness, developmental problems and behavioral issues. All of this makes properly documenting patient visits in a pediatric practice difficult.
How a Pediatric Medical Scribe Helps
Pediatric medical scribes can’t fix the technical issues that exist within EMRs, but they can help ease the burden of dealing with them. Pediatric medical scribes are trained specifically for pediatric practices, including pediatric terminology. They are well versed in the technology of EMRs, increasing efficiency and accuracy in data collection and entry, allowing the pediatrician to focus on their patient.
Our pediatric medical scribes are trained to anticipate the needs of the pediatrician they shadow, as well as the administrative needs of the clinic or practice where they are placed. Discretion, good judgment, and attention to detail are required, as well as a high level of organizational skills.
A pediatric medical scribe will help you by assuming responsibility for the following:
- Documentation for medical visits and procedures, including the patient’s medical history and the current exam, any treatments performed by any medical staff, diagnosis and prescriptions, and follow up care.
- Referral letters dictated by the pediatrician as well as research and other communications regarding the referral.
- Tracking patient follow up and quality reporting.
- Proofing and oversight to avoid mistakes in documentation, providing another set of eyes to ensure medical records are accurate and in compliance.
All medical practices can benefit from having a medical scribe on board. Productivity and efficiency increase, physicians can focus on the work they love – being a doctor – and documentation accuracy increases greatly. This allows for greater productivity, i.e. the ability to see more patients in a shorter period of time. Documentation accuracy leads to more accurate billing and therefore quicker pay for service. These benefits can be transformative to any medical practice, but their impact may be most beneficial to a pediatric practice. Caring for children is a precious and demanding job; being able to focus solely on them while they’re in your care is crucial to being able to do this important job at the highest possible level.