Since the 1960s, ED doctors have been able to increase the time they spend with patients and improve their individual productivity by augmenting the velocity of the medical record through assisted documentation with ED scribes. As the medical profession has transitioned from paper to the digital medical record, the gains in efficiency through the utilization of ED scribes have given doctors a solution to offset the productivity losses stemming from the time-consuming click-intensive nature of the EHR. By 1) tracking down ancillary medical data, 2) documenting elements of the patient encounter, and 3) facilitating communication between ED staff and the ED doctor, scribe-assisted ED physicians are able to mitigate their burden to document, and focus on patient care at the bedside.
The financial return on investment has been measured in multiple articles that have reported on, for instance, improvements in provider-generated RVUs/hour, patients treated/hour, decrease in downcodes, improvement in the number of patients left without being seen, decrease in dictation costs and more (see "Benefits" below). In the emergency department, there is only one constant predictor of profitability: patient to provider staffing ratios. Having an integrated ScribeAmerica scribe program will allow ED management to increase the provider staffing ratio, thus replacing some high cost overhead (provider hours) with low cost provider efficiency enhancers (ScribeAmerica medical scribes). A ScribeAmerica scribe program will naturally uncover redundancy in the existing provider schedule, which has lead many of our clients to comfortably reduce provider hours or eliminate an entire shift, resulting in significant gains in their ROI.