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Medical Scribe: Eligibility, Skills, Working Hours, Salary

Medical Scribe : Wondering what a Medical Scribe is? In the mid-1990s, the concept of medical scribing service was introduced. Yet, the term is new, and people aren’t so aware of it. Let’s get a clear view.

As a physician, you might often find yourself juggling lots of responsibilities, right?

Well, a physician’s primary role is to focus on direct patient care. But after the advancement of Electronic Health Record (EHR), the scenario has changed. Now they’ve got to deal with documentation overload and clerical duties at the same time. This dual responsibility can be overwhelming. It slows down the physician’s efficiency and distracts them from patient care.

Today, we answer “What is Medical Scribe?”, their key roles, required skills and some frequently asked questions.

What is a Medical Scribe?

A scribe specializes in clinical documentation of patient encounters in real-time. In the dynamic world of healthcare, medical scribing is getting immense popularity. They assist the physicians by handling the documentation tasks. This includes recording a patient’s medical history, diagnosis, treatment plans and follow-up instructions.

By taking over the documentation burden, scribes free up the physicians to concentrate on patient care. During patient visits, this medical assistant helps to improve the physician-patient encounter. Their real-time clinical documentation and updating them to EHRs makes the process convenient.

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What are the Skills Required for a Medical Scribe?

Are you an aspiring medical scribe? The basic requirement for this job role is to have a high school diploma. However, such medical assistants must have vast knowledge of medical terminology.

Though any special degree is not necessary to be a scribe in the healthcare industry, a pre-med background is definitely a plus. It will help them to understand different clinical terms and medical processes.

If you want to become a scribe, possessing the following basic skills are a must.

EHR Management Skills:

Becoming a medical scribe needs a thorough understanding of the Electronic Health Record system. One must navigate the system to input and retrieve patient details in an efficient manner. To safeguard patient privacy, such professionals need to stay in compliance with HIPAA.

Computer Skills:

Sometimes, professional scribes assist the doctors over audio or video calls. Therefore, it is vital for them to properly understand and record every physician-patient encounter. So, having advanced computer knowledge helps them to navigate the data entry process.

Multitasking Ability:

Scribes for doctors need to be multitaskers and have a keen eye for details. Their main role is to comprehend the doctor-patient encounter and record the details in EHRs. So, it is essential for them to listen and collect information at the same time.

Communication Skills:

Effective communication skills are another important factor in being an efficient scribe in healthcare. They must have active listening skills to capture the physician-patient conversation accurately. Their responsibility is to make proper notes from that conversation without making an error. This will help the physicians and healthcare staff to reach a conclusion after the diagnosis.

Does Medical Scribe Count as Clinical Hours?

Scribing offers valuable clinical experience through close work with physicians, providing insight into patient care and medical decision-making.

Although scribes don’t directly interact with patients, they document medical histories and physician recommendations, developing key skills like medical terminology and time management.

While it doesn’t match the hands-on patient contact of shadowing or volunteering, scribing still offers a meaningful look into healthcare practices.

A medical scribe acts as a bridge between physicians and patients. The working hours of a healthcare scribe vary depending on different factors. It depends on the specific needs of the physicians and healthcare settings.  

Generally, such professionals work full-time, typically around 40 hours a week. However, due to the busy healthcare setting, scribes for doctors may also work on weekends and holidays.

Sometimes, they might work on day and night shifts. The shifts could range between 8 to 12 hours per day. Even though they have rotating schedules, they provide 24/7 support to patient care. They may even be required to work overtime to handle the sudden surge in patient emergencies.

What is a Medical Scribing Salary?

The average salary package of a these healthcare professionals depends on their qualifications, work experience and proficiency. 

According to Glassdoor, a medical scribe may get paid $10–15 per hour or $31,000 per year. However, depending on the assigned position, the ER (emergency room) scribes will get much higher pay, approximately $35000 to $44000 per year. 

Apart from these, some renowned healthcare service providers offer health insurances and additional exciting benefits to the scribes they hire.

The Concluding Thoughts

Medical Scribe plays a pivotal role in enhancing physicians’ efficiency and improving patient care. By taking care of the documentation burden, these professionals free up the physicians to deliver quality care. As a result, there are more satisfied patients with an effective healthcare system. 

As the demand for healthcare services continues to grow, the role of a scribe who are in healthcare profession, will become increasingly crucial. This ensures that the physicians are now able to deliver the best possible care to the patients. 

So, it is no surprise that the medical scribes are not just an important staff. They are an integral part of the modern healthcare facilities. Their impact on physician patient encounters makes them invaluable.

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