• linkedin
  • Increase Font
  • Sharebar

    Is a scribe right for you?


    The Case Against

    A recent survey of hundreds of physicians from The Doctors Company, the nation’s largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurer, revealed that the lack of standardized training and variability in experience among scribes poses major risks to data accuracy and delivery of care. 

    David Troxel, MD, medical Director of The Doctors Company, says the survey showed that most physicians allow scribes to enter medical histories, physical examination findings, vital signs, allergies, lab and imaging results, and medications, but a majority of scribes lack formalized training, which could be problematic.


    BLOG: Why are EHRs so terrible?


    “The rapid growth in the use of scribes who lack formal training and certification raises concerns of unintended consequences to EHR documentation,” he tells Medical Economics by email. “The absence of standardized scribe training programs, definition of scope of practice and licensure increases the risk that scribes may make errors potentially leading to adverse events.”

    If such an event occurs because a scribe incorrectly entered information into the EHR, he says, the physician will potentially be liable.

    “We anticipate that the use of scribes will continue to grow, so it is important to address these issues with standardized curricula and assessments that lead to certification,” Troxel says.

    Scribes are considered non-licensed personnel that work under the direct supervision of licensed health care providers and there is not currently a required certifying organization nationally for medical scribes. However, organizations such as Scribe America and The American College of Medical Scribe Specialists offer their own training programs. 


    Keith Loria
    Keith Loria is a contributing writer to Medical Economics.

    1 Comment

    You must be signed in to leave a comment. Registering is fast and free!

    All comments must follow the ModernMedicine Network community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated. ModernMedicine reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part,in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

    • Anonymous
      Short reply. Rewind. NO EMR, NO excess expenses. No need for scribes. Just the patient and the doctor. Patient tells the doctor his story, doctor listens, examines, doctor gives healing advise , patient trusts the doctor. No need for fancy office space, no need for telemedicine. Doctors are patients too and we want what any patient wants when we are sick someone knowledgeable to cares and listens and available when needed. The same person who knows you every time you come in. No EMR scheduler and flow soft ware. I just covered the most fantastic office today. So efficient. Such nice caring staff, A caring and brilliant doctor the staff and patients love. Old fashion medicine. and well organized paper chart . What a blessing of efficiency and excellent medical care. I am afraid to go to the doctor with the fancy office and large support staff that does not know you, is stuck finding all you medical information but has an IT department and PR department. That doctor is stressed.

    Latest Tweets Follow