Electronic Health Records (EHR) Software systems have been deployed around hospitals in the US to improve patient care and streamline daily workflows through automation. However, at times clinicians can feel overwhelmed due to EMR documentation which can ultimately lead to physician burnout. An athenahealth survey in 2022 revealed that 57 percent of providers feel that excessive electronic health records documentation is the driving factor of clinician burnout. Clinician burnout can have serious consequences as it can come in the way of providing high-quality patient care.

The use of medical scribes

Some healthcare organizations have invested in medical scribes to combat the issue of clinician burnout. Medical scribes are unlicensed paraprofessional who documents patient encounters in real time in the EHR Software.

A federally qualified health center (FQHC) in New York hired medical scribes 8 years ago to alleviate the rising rates of clinician burnout and it proved to be a saving grace for Open Door Family Medical Center. Due to the adoption of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Software technology and meaningful use criteria, the time invested by clinicians in documentation has greatly increased leading to greater chances of burnout.

Using medical scribes helped Open Door physicians to focus on patient care. Apart from documenting patient encounters, the scribes helped clinicians finish other administrative tasks such as booking appointments and printing educational material.

AI scribe technology

The advancements in speech technology led to the birth of artificial intelligence AI-based scribe technology in recent years. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Open Door could not use on-site medical scribes because of social distancing. Hence the health center assessed different AI scribe technology in the market and selected a tool from the EHR vendor, eClinical Works. It offered both value for money and scalability.

AI scribe tools advantages for the medical center

The affordable AI-based EHR documentation tool by eClinical works effectively reduced the time clinicians spent on documentation and helped to streamline the documentation process for efficiency.

The AI scribe tool is a good return on investment and has helped cut down after-hours time so doctors can be home, improving work-life balance. AI-based tools are preferred over medical scribes because of their quick transcription turnaround. The AI scribe is also great at capturing difficult medical terminology and displaying it correctly in the note.

The robust AI scribe technology eliminates the need to manually take notes during a patient encounter. It helps clinicians listen intently to the patient and not worry about note-taking, improving the care process. AI scribes are efficient and can reduce an average of 15 minutes of documentation time per encounter. Once the notes are accurate, clinicians can have peace of mind and can focus on compassionate care.