As a medical professional, you juggle many administrative tasks and worry about keeping your practice secure and HIPAA compliant. Electronic Health Record (EHR) documentation requires doing the job right the first time.
In our blog post “The Importance Of Medical Transcription in Healthcare”, we highlighted the importance of efficient medical documentation and how conflicting priorities between paperwork and patient care have ganged up on medical professionals with stress and longer hours—to the detriment of patient care and the wellbeing of physicians.
In keeping up with EHR, insurance providers, and the federal Medicare documentation rules, the physician’s best friend continues to be the medical transcriptionist —or the medical scribe. Among other duties, medical scribes prepare the medical reports and records on patients and maintain the medical histories in the EHR database.
Medical practices that opt for the team documentation method often have a scribe in the examination room. Some practices have been wary of impracticalities and personnel expense of having a scribe in the room during patients’ visits.
In-house scribes can increase productivity, but they aren’t helping your practice save money. Factor in salary, benefits, insurance, sick days, and more, and the in-house scribe isn’t the most cost-efficient choice for your practice.
So, in-house transcription can be costly and disruptive. The better alternative is outsourcing, where a qualified off-site medical scribe works virtually, conveniently, and on-demand.
How does a medical scribe help the physician?
A medical scribe boosts physician productivity.
Consider the following studies:
- Clinico Economics & Outcomes Research published a study that found:
- Physicians in a cardiology practice improved productivity by at least 10% when working with medical scribes.
- The physicians could see 9.6% more patients each hour.
- Over the year, the cardiologists saw 84 additional new patients and conducted another 423 follow-up visits.
- This resulted in an increase of $1,348,437 in revenue for the practice. The medical scribes cost the practice $98,588, according to researchers.
In addition to improved productivity and increased revenue, another study found that a scribe helps prevent provider burnout.
2. In September 2018, JAMA Internal published a report exploring whether medical scribes help improve physician productivity patient communication and otherwise enhance the physician’s job satisfaction. The study involved 18 physicians. The study found that assistance from a medical scribe allowed physicians to:
- spend more than 75% of the appointment interacting with the patient
- spend less than 25% of the visit using a computer
- complete encounter documentation within the day while the visit was fresh in their memory
Again, as previously mentioned, while most physicians would benefit from an on-site, skilled medical scribe, it may not be the best option for everyone. A better alternative is outsourcing.
Benefits of outsourcing medical transcription services
The DataMatrix Medical difference
Hiring a professional medical transcription service like DataMatrix Medical will allow your physicians to spend less time updating and maintaining patient health records and focus on why they became physicians: to serve patients.
Outsourcing is a virtual arrangement with real people assigned as a medical scribes team. They not only transcribe each patient visit, but they also enter your dictated transcription notes seamlessly into your EHR system.
Key benefits of outsourcing with DataMatrix Medical include:
- A team of primary care and multi-specialty professionals trained guarantees transcription and records accuracy. Before the physician reviews the final product, a quality assurance system provides a second-level proofreading and human touch.
- The service is HIPAA compliant. Patient information is safeguarded against unauthorized release. Integrating seamlessly with local EHR systems permits secure transcriptions with 100% HIPAA compliance.
- Your transcriptions are seamlessly integrated into your current EHR system. Employing a relational database structure, the data you enter into individual fields migrates into the relevant sections of patient charts.
- You can go the mobile dictation route. You can quickly dictate your treatment notes using an iPhone app or phone recorder. Using a voice recognition system, your scribe service can proofread your files.
- Quick turnaround with around-the-clock virtual medical scribes provide reports in as little as two hours.
- Affordable prices with no locked-in, binding contracts. If you’re looking to save money and go on a pay-per-job basis, outsourcing your work could be better than hiring an on-site scribe.
- No upfront costs or hidden fees. Outsourcing medical transcription leverages the best advantages of cloud services. You don’t have system installation, maintenance, update costs, or other hidden fees.
- DataMatrix is a US-based service with extensive experience with third-party IME requirements and MACRA/MIPS and CMS reporting.
Adding the human touch
Technology advances are more about speed, without the common-sense, intuitive nuances that only human judgment, skill, and experience can provide. For example, voice recognition software requires extensive training and often cannot pick up on the intent of the human speaker.
So, automated intelligence—especially in medical voice recognition–relies more on automation but needs the intervention of human intelligence. It not only replicates but can compound human error.
AI, then, is fairly new and is only as good as the data it accumulates. It doesn’t do well with new information and can sometimes, like our friend Siri, come up with bizarre results.
Where technology misses the mark, your outsourced medical scribe service can excel. Working with your physicians’ speech patterns, accents, and pronunciation nuances enables your outsourced scribes to deliver accurate case histories and patient data you need to run your practice.
The bottom line of outsourcing vs. in-house medical transcription services
- cost between $30,000 and $45,000 per year, per employee
- consume management time and effort
- require on-going training to prevent patient data breaches, etc.
Outsourcing medical transcriptionists through DataMatrix Medical:
- leverages the cost-effective features of the Cloud
- takes the transcription and medical documentation hassle away from your practice
- provides highly-trained and dedicated transcriptions, whose sole purpose is to provide a quality product on time
Learn more about how medical transcription can improve your practice’s productivity by downloading our How To Optimize Clinical Productivity Through Outsourcing guidebook.