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The Use of Medical Scribes in Health Care Settings: A Systematic Review and Future Directions

Electronic health records (EHRs) hold promise to improve productivity, quality, and outcomes; however, using EHRs can be cumbersome, disruptive to workflow, and off-putting to patients and clinicians. One proposed solution to this problem is the use of medical scribes. The purpose of this systematic review is to summarize the literature investigating the effect of medical scribes on health care productivity, quality, and outcomes. Implications for future research are discussed.

Methods: A keyword search of the Cochrane Library, OvidSP Medline database, and Embase database from January 2000 through September 2014 was performed using the terms scribe or scribes in the title or abstract. To ensure no potentially eligible articles were missed, a second search was done using Google Scholar. English-language, peer-reviewed studies assessing the effect of medical scribes on health care productivity, quality, and outcomes were retained. Identified studies were assessed and the findings reported.

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