How Cardiology Scribes Improve Efficiency And Patient Satisfaction
Just like in any other medical field, cardiology physicians spend increasing amounts of time on administrative tasks to keep patient records updated and accurate.
The unfortunate side effect is that cardiologists struggle to find enough time to commit to patients and suffer significant burnout and dissatisfaction. From long waiting lists to delayed treatments, this has become a common cardiology practice situation.
Cardiology medical scribes can significantly reduce that administrative burden, but most physicians don’t fully appreciate all the benefits it has on their work-life balance as well as their patients’ experiences.
Let me show you the true impact a cardiology scribe will have.
Benefits Of Hiring A Cardiology Scribe
1. Benefits For A Cardiologist
The Stanford research revealed three main areas where doctors noted the most significant impacts of medical and cardiology scribes.
The clinical experience for the majority of physicians is that they spend at least 30% of their time on administrative tasks around patient records.
Not only do these have to be updated with every physical exam, conversation, test results, and treatment progress, but patient record maintenance has to happen in a timely way and be complete and accurate.
All that time spent updating electronic health records (EHR) ultimately takes time away from interacting with patients.
What the Stanford research showed is that over 70% of doctors agreed and strongly agreed that medical scribes improved the amount of face time they had with patients. That means more time for each patient and more patients in a typical workday.
The research study also highlighted interesting results from doctors regarding the amount of time they spent charting patient records. Over 50% of them agreed and strongly agreed that they saved significant amounts of time with a medical scribe.
You might expect this to be higher, but you have to put it in the context of what cardiology scribes deliver and what doctors still need to be involved in.
While scribes will eliminate a large portion of the administrative time, cardiologists still have to review and proofread the medical notes. It’s not a completely hands-off service, but with the right medical scribe, doctors can save increasing amounts of time.
Another common issue physicians experience is that in-house scribes might become overwhelmed during busy times of the year, meaning that doctors have to become the backup.
However, you can avoid that with an outsourced scribing service.
Another critical benefit the Stanford study highlighted is the overall improvement in patient records. This goes beyond timely processing, and over 65% of doctors agreed that medical scribes helped them maintain more accurate medical records.
While doctors learn the importance of patient records in medical school, it’s only the real-life experience in a medical clinic that shows how important this is.
Not only are there legal obligations to keep accurate records, but this information also impacts medical insurance billing and prior authorization, which could be delayed.
All these measured and proven benefits of a cardiology scribe will ultimately increase productivity for doctors, leading to better patient experiences and treatment results.
2. Benefits For Cardiology Patients
The same Stanford study that looked at the impacts of medical scribes on doctors also reviewed how patients experienced their interactions. Even though cardiology scribes won’t directly interact with patients, there is a considerable impact on the overall service provided.
More than 90% of patients questioned agreed and strongly agreed that their clinical experience improved through more time with a doctor.
That means these patients didn’t feel like they were being rushed during consultations.
When dealing with cardiologists, that’s an important factor as these patients are generally dealing with serious conditions.
It’s also a significant factor when patients don’t have to deal with long waiting times to see their cardiologist for urgent or recurring consultations.
Over 90% of respondents in the research study also agreed that they felt they were encouraged to talk more about their symptoms, treatment, and improvements.
This seemingly minor benefit can have a significant impact on the patient, who will feel more valued. Doctors will also gain more insights into how each patient is responding to treatments.
The final highlight from the study is the fact that over 90% of respondents agreed that their doctor appeared to be more caring and attentive to their needs and concerns.
Because doctors are less distracted when they have the support of a medical scribe, there is less time spent trying to take notes rather than directly dealing with the questions of each patient.
3. Improved Documentation Efficiency
According to Medicare guidelines, medical records from consultations should be updated and signed off on within 48 hours. And while that is just a guideline, it served as a good measure for the Stanford study.
What the researchers found is that patient visits that involved a medical scribe saw a significant improvement in the time between the start of a consultation and signing off on the notes.
Not only does that reduce administrative burdens, but the impact on insurance billing and prior authorization can be positive as well.
EMPOWER YOUR PRACTICE WITH STREAMLINED MEDICAL SCRIBING
In-House Vs. Outsourced Scribes
When it comes to hiring a medical scribe, there are two options that medical clinics and departments have to consider. Both have their advantages and disadvantages that you need to understand before making a decision.
Pros and Cons Of In-House Medical Scribes
The main attraction of hiring an in-house cardiology scribe is that you have full control over the hiring process and what kind of experience, education, and training you’re looking for.
For many clinics, this can be an important factor as they understand the specialized requirements for a cardiology scribe. However, as you’ll see in the next section, there are ways to avoid this issue with an outsourced scribe.
Some doctors prefer having direct contact with a cardiology scribe in order to correct mistakes and provide other kinds of feedback about their preferred style of note-taking. This also allows them to influence and suggest further training directly, especially when it comes to new treatments and medications.
At the same time, there are some considerable downsides to hiring an in-house cardiology scribe.
First of all, it’s not an easily scalable solution.
With increasing patient demand and seasonal fluctuations, it can be a challenge to have enough team resources, which is particularly challenging in clinics with multiple cardiologists.
Clinics also need to have backup scribes to cover for vacation and sick leave.
There is also a significant management and cost overhead. From payroll taxes to office space and hiring costs to sick leave, hiring in-house scribes adds a lot of expenses that go beyond just the salary.
- Medical clinics have control over whom they hire
- Ability to provide specific training as needed
- Doctors can directly deal with medical scribes to correct repeat errors
- Gain consistency with the same team of cardiology scribes
- In-house teams are not easily scaled to deal with increased demand
- Related expenses for hiring, taxes, vacation time, and sick leave
- Hiring multiple back-up medical scribes to cover vacations and sick leave
- Requires additional designated office space and equipment
Pros and Cons Of Outsourced Medical Scribes
The biggest advantage of hiring an outsourced cardiology scribe is that you have on-demand access to large teams of scribes. That allows you to easily adapt to changes in demand as your clinic or department expands.
Ultimately, that leads to much more consistent patient care when you don’t have to worry whether there is enough support available to cover all the doctors.
It’s a particular challenge for smaller clinics and departments that don’t have the resources to hire a large enough medical scribe team to support expansion and fluctuations.
There will also be no delays when scribes are out sick or on vacation, making it a much more consistent support service for physicians to work with.
Cost advantages are also a major attraction, as you won’t be dealing with office space, training, vacation time, and sick leave.
The most common concerns we have encountered at DataMatrix are the lack of direct access to scribes and possible delays in getting mistakes fixed. Those are valid concerns, but we keep those to a minimum through a proven hiring and training process.
As a result, you can expect minimum mistakes, but we also have an efficient feedback loop that makes it easier to request corrections.
- Outsourced scribing services are highly scalable and adaptable to changes in demands
- Avoid scribing delays due to sick leave and vacations
- No overhead costs for payroll taxes, vacations, and training
- No management overhead for teams of scribes
- No need to allocate office space for an in-house cardiology scribe
- No direct in-house communication with the scribing team
- Possibly slower turnaround time to fix scribing errors
Medical Scribes Vs. Transcription
One common question that we get at DataMatrix is whether a medical scribe or transcriptionist is the better solution to improve patient care.
Let’s take a closer look.
What Is The Main Difference?
Both medical scribes and transcriptionists offer very similar services. The end result is an efficient solution to save doctors a lot of time entering patient records.
The difference between the two comes mainly down to the fact that a transcriptionist will generally deal with recordings of patient visits with some dictated words from a doctor as well.
It still saves a lot of time, but there is more work involved from a physician’s perspective.
Medical scribes, on the other hand, can either listen to recordings of consultations or they are listening live. This requires more skills and training for the scribe as they have to focus on the medically relevant parts of these conversations.
Both options are highly effective at making doctors more efficient, but scribing tends to deliver the most effective solution.
Choosing The Right Service
In many cases, choosing between a scribe and a transcriptionist comes down to personal preferences. Some doctors prefer starting off with dictated notes as it gives them more control over the outcome.
However, for maximum efficiency and to free up as much time as possible, a cardiology scribe will provide the best possible support. DataMatrix also offers both online and offline scribing services allowing doctors to further tailor the service to their preferences.
Cardiology Scribe Services From DataMatrix
At DataMatrix, we have specialized in providing scribing services for cardiologists with highly trained and experienced staff. To ensure our clients have maximum flexibility with our services, we offer both online and offline options.
Online Medical Scribe
An online cardiology scribe will listen directly to a consultation and take the relevant notes on behalf of the cardiologist. The major advantage of this approach is that notes are taken in real time, and it doesn’t interfere with patient care.
Once the consultation is complete, doctors will be able to almost instantly review the notes and proofread them. It’s a significant time-saving and can make the administrative process a lot more efficient.
Offline Medical Scribe
Our team also offers the option of an offline cardiology scribe. This process involves recording consultations on a phone, tablet, or laptop and sending the recording to us.
We then pick up the work and prepare all the notes for the EHR system, where they are available for review and proofreading. The business process is slightly different, but some doctors prefer this option.
HIPAA compliance is our top priority here at DataMatrix, and it’s important for cardiology clinics and departments to have the confidence that they aren’t taking any risks by outsourcing scribing and providing third-party access to medical records.
Through a combination of carefully planned business processes, regular staff training, and the best possible cybersecurity protections, we have ensured full HIPAA compliance.
For more details, feel free to talk to one of our advisers on this topic.
Call DataMatrix For A Free Consultation
Call us today and talk to one of our advisors If you’d like to find out more about how a cardiology scribe can transform your administrative business processes.
This is one phone call that could have the biggest impact on patient satisfaction as well as reducing physician burnout.