Why Every Doctor and Hospital Should Employ EMR Scribes

Updated on June 7, 2022

According to the Canada Health Act, there is a mandate decreeing that healthcare should be portable. In an effort to be in compliance, each province has instituted its own policy on Electronic Medical Records, EMRs, which is the key to portability within healthcare. It can be a bit confusing, but the gist of the matter is that the transition from hard-copy paper patient files to digital files, which are easily shared via the internet, has been slow in coming. To that extent, EMR Scribes would be the perfect answer to quite a few ongoing concerns in medicine today.

What Exactly Is a Scribe?

Perhaps the best place to begin explaining why every doctor, hospital, and medical facility should employ EMR scribes would be with a brief understanding of what a scribe does and how that relates to EMRs. A scribe is a highly trained transcriptionist with a solid background in medical terminology. 

This is the person who goes from patient room to patient room with a physician carrying that ever-present state-of-the-art laptop for school and business. These are usually provided by the healthcare facility and may or may not be allowed off premises. Bear in mind the records on that laptop are highly sensitive, so typically those laptops stay under lock and key of the medical facility to which they belong. 

A scribe has to record (type) every detail of the interaction between that doctor and the patient. Everything is then transferred in an official format into the patient’s digital file. As a physician, you may already employ one or more scribes, but an EMR scribe is a major emphasis within the field of medical scribes.

The Benefits of Employing an EMR Scribe

It wasn’t long ago that physicians carried small voice recording devices into the exam room with them and would dictate notes as they went along. Those voice recordings were passed along to office personnel who transcribed the visit and entered data into the patient’s hardcopy file. These transcriptions were done in longhand or typed, but always entered into the file.

With advances in today’s medical and information technologies, the entire process is typically completed within the time of that doctor/patient interaction and maybe only a few edits might be needed before saving the information to the patient’s digital file, their Electronic Medical Record. It is immediately evident that an EMR scribe makes the entire process time and cost efficient.

An Answer to a – Dare We Say It – Prayer

For several decades now, it has been a growing concern that doctors, nurses, and other patient-facing medical professionals are in a crisis-level short supply. The fear is that patients will not be given the care they require and deserve because of this shortage. While a scribe cannot treat patients, they can make each and every doctor/patient interaction much more efficient and less time-consuming. 

Since EMRs are now required, by law, within most if not every province in some form or another, and in light of the global shortage of doctors, doesn’t this provide the perfect solution to both concerns? If for no other reason, doctors should rely more on the technology these professionals bring with them that will enable them to give better care to their patients in a shorter amount of time. Are you looking to increase your patient load? The most direct path would be through an EMR scribe.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.