The US healthcare industry is growing. Right now, there are around 784,626 companies in the healthcare sector, and high demand for staff.
Flexible solutions are available. Savvy healthcare providers from all around the world are taking advantage of virtual teams. If you run a health service and need additional support, a virtual medical scribe could help reduce your daily workload.
There is a wide range of benefits to having remote team members. They allow you to continue to provide personalized care while cutting down on repetitive tasks.
In this article, we'll tell you what a medical scribe is and how they can support your business. Plus, we'll explain what to look for when choosing a medical scribe for your clinic.
What is a medical scribe?
A medical scribe works as an assistant to a physician or other healthcare provider. They can even support veterinary care teams.
There’s a significant amount of paperwork involved in each appointment with a patient. Maintaining electronic medical histories, writing prescriptions, and ordering lab tests can be time-consuming. You can end up spending more time recording data than treating your patients.
This is where a medical scribe comes in. While you're providing medical care, the scribe maintains the patient’s record. They transcribe conversations and input the information into the patient’s electronic health record.
In-person scribes usually work in real time and sit in on appointments with you. They work in a range of settings, including emergency departments, private practices, and primary care clinics. Virtual scribes can check in remotely or transcribe recordings.
A medical scribe can be a valuable member of your healthcare team. If there is downtime in your clinic, they may even be able to assist with general administrative duties.
You can hire a part-time or full-time scribe, or you can use the flexible option of a virtual medical scribe. You can even ask for extra hours when you need them.
Want to find out how Hello Rache can reduce your workload? Get in touch to learn more about our virtual scribe services.
What are the benefits of hiring a virtual medical scribe?
Thinking about going virtual? Whether you're a general health practitioner or a specialist, this is a robust solution that can help your clinic in both the short and long term.
Here are the top benefits of hiring a virtual medical scribe:
1. It saves you money
An in-person scribe can be a good option if you run a busy emergency department or urgent care center. However, if you're on a budget and want flexibility, a virtual alternative could be the right choice.
When you hire a virtual scribe, you won't need to hire an extra in-house employee. There'll be no contracts, and you can use them as little or as much as you need.
You won't have to invest in training or an office space because the scribe will be working from home. If you choose Hello Rache, you'll get access to reliable medical scribes at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee. Plus, you won't need to worry about providing benefits, sick pay, or vacation leave.
Hiring a virtual medical scribe can save you money without sacrificing quality service.
2. It saves you time
One of the key benefits that come with virtual medical scribes is that they can save you time. Even if you already have a large team of staff, certain duties are always time-consuming.
A virtual medical scribe can transcribe medical records and assist with your documentation requirements. This means that your care team will run more smoothly and can focus on other tasks.
Alternatively, if you're just starting out, you can build your clinic at your own pace. You can hire a virtual medical scribe to work during clinical hours, giving you more time to care for your patients.
While these scribes can provide assistance to physicians during appointments, this isn't all they can do. Virtual workers can take care of other administrative duties. For example, they can answer phones, transcribe recordings, and organize digital files.
3. It builds better patient relationships
When you choose a virtual medical scribe, your patients can receive more personalized care. With data uploaded in real time, they won't have to wait to access their prescriptions and referrals.
Traditionally, in-person medical scribes are present during patient appointments. In some settings, this can make a patient feel uncomfortable. For example, if you're visiting someone in a hospital bed or discussing a sensitive issue, the patient may prefer to have as few people in the room as possible.
On the other hand, a virtual medical scribe can be present via phone or video chat. This helps to create a positive patient experience and improves the patient’s sense of privacy. Alternatively, you can record the conversation and send it to the medical scribe to transcribe after the appointment.
Remember, there are different types of scribes in a range of healthcare fields. Despite their minor differences, they all prioritize patient care.
4. It supports existing team members
Virtual medical scribes won't replace your existing team members. However, the right person can give them the support they need.
When your digital scribing tasks are done by a remote worker, the rest of your team has one less thing to worry about. You can reduce the workload of overburdened staff and give them a better work-life balance.
In a busy healthcare setting, outsourcing tasks to remote workers makes sense. Whether it's a temporary measure while someone goes on leave or a permanent solution, a virtual medical scribe can reduce your in-house staff’s workload.
When you book a Hello Rache virtual medical scribe, you can choose to work with the same person. The scribe can build relationships with your existing team and get to know your processes.
5. It eliminates repetitive tasks
Maintaining electronic health records and transcribing documents can be repetitive. Virtual medical scribes can take care of these repetitive tasks. In fact, it’s part of their job description.
As a business owner or manager, you can say goodbye to repetitive tasks without lowering your service standards. You can still follow Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations and keep your patients’ records safe.
These trained medical assistants are very detail-oriented and can complete repetitive tasks with ease.
You can rely on them to create detailed, accurate reports and patient files without the need for constant supervision.
6. It creates a positive company culture
When you utilize the services of a virtual medical scribe, you can improve your company’s culture. But how?
When you remove some of the pressure placed on permanent staff, they’ll be less likely to experience burnout. The result can be higher job satisfaction and retention rates.
By spreading out the workload evenly, your team will feel valued. Tasks will be completed on time, and your employees won’t have to go home feeling worried about work.
Plus, a good virtual medical scribe pays close attention to detail. Accurate patient records and clear reports help the entire team. If someone needs information about a patient, it’ll be there waiting for them. Fewer mistakes will be made, and the work environment will be more productive and positive.
7. It enables quick and efficient referrals
When you see a patient, you might not be able to eliminate all of their health concerns. Patients may be referred to a specialist or other service. They may also need tests to help you make the right medical decisions.
Sometimes, these things are urgent or time-sensitive. A virtual medical scribe can transcribe this information quickly and efficiently so that it’s ready for use.
For example, a doctor may need to order a blood test for a patient with an unusual rash. Or, an orthodontist may need an x-ray of a patient before they can start treatment. Abnormal lab tests can be followed up, and the patient’s history can be updated.
When accurate notes are transcribed into a digital format, these requests can be shared between healthcare providers.
Because these scribes work in real time or shortly after the appointment, patients can continue their treatment without delay.
8. It gives remote communities access
If you live in a smaller community, you might not have access to an in-house scribe. A virtual option gives you quality support in any setting.
Doctors can visit multiple healthcare facilities in one day. They can even make house calls. No matter where they practice, a virtual medical scribe can be available to provide transcription services.
Some healthcare professionals offer remote consultations, and virtual medical scribes can be part of this process.
With clear, accurate electronic documentation, patients can get the same quality healthcare that you’d expect in a larger city.
What should you look for in a virtual medical scribe?
You don’t want just anyone working with your patients. It’s important to find the right person for the job.
Hello Rache can provide quality, trained assistants. Many of our team members already have experience in the medical field.
Here's what you should look for in a virtual medical scribe:
The healthcare industry can be fast-paced. Jobs can be challenging, especially during periods of high demand. If a virtual medical scribe has had the right training, they'll be able to manage their daily tasks with ease.
There are documentation requirements and strict rules that healthcare organizations have to follow. It's essential that your medical scribe knows how to deal with sensitive patient information.
When choosing a virtual medical scribe, look for someone who's completed a medical scribe certification course. For example, HIPAA training and certification are reputable and meet industry standards.
If the scribe is interested in a long-term career in healthcare, scribing will be beneficial. For example, the scribe could become a medical student or nurse.
2. Patient-centered care
The virtual medical scribe will be part of your patient care team, so they’ll need to be genuinely interested in helping people.
They may have conversations with patients, so they need to have good communication skills. Communication may be done over the phone, video chat, or email.
Plus, the scribe should know how to provide bedside care. These workers have access to personal medical records, so accuracy, patience, and empathy are essential.
Next on the list of must-haves is reliability. Your virtual medical scribe will be your personal assistant, so they need to be available when you need them.
To keep your clinic running smoothly, you'll want to stick to your appointment times. You can't wait for your virtual scribe to check in — they should be waiting and ready to work with the right tools.
As a remote worker, your virtual scribe may be doing their job from home. This means they'll need to be self-motivated and able to work independently.
Virtual medical scribes need to be detail-oriented. They're transcribing important information, and mistakes can lead to negative health outcomes.
Try to find someone you can trust who's reliable and committed to the role.
If your virtual medical scribe has clinical experience, this can be an advantage. Someone who's been working in the healthcare industry for a while will usually be more confident and efficient than a novice scribe.
Medical scribe programs give new workers the skills they need to succeed. While medical scribes don't offer medical advice, they still need to understand what it's like to work in a busy healthcare environment.
Sometimes, a virtual scribe will work with notes or recordings. They should be able to flag any note-taking errors. Industry experience and training will ensure that the scribe can catch these issues.
5. Computer skills
Medical scribing is a computer-based role. The person you work with should be able to type quickly and accurately. The ability to input data quickly and efficiently without spelling or grammatical errors is important.
A virtual medical scribe should be familiar with different software. For example, experience using Microsoft Office and Google Workspace is recommended.
They'll be working remotely, so a reliable internet connection, a computer, and a phone will be essential. The scribe should also be tech-savvy, able to navigate new health systems and apps.
Basic skills in graphic design can also be an advantage, as they can help with report presentations.
Remember, top-notch record-keeping is a requirement for this role.
6. Healthcare knowledge
A background in healthcare will help a virtual medical scribe give your patients the high-quality service they deserve.
For example, if the scribe has nursing experience or are training for a career in medicine, they'll be up to date with medical terminology. They should be able to interpret medical jargon and abbreviations.
Virtual medical scribes may work in an array of departments and should have some knowledge of administrative procedures and health insurance.
Even if you only need entry-level assistance, the scribe should know how to update medical records.
7. Commitment to privacy
Privacy and security are top priorities. The virtual medical scribe will be dealing with confidential records, so a background check is essential. A National Background Information (NBI) check will flag any criminal activity on their FBI background report.
Medical documentation can be personal and should be treated with care. A thorough background check will reduce risks. For example, someone who's been convicted of fraud may not be a good fit for a role that deals with personal information.
How the scribe works is also important. For example, their internet should be secure, and they shouldn’t have anyone else listening in on patient appointments. They’ll have solid antivirus protection and change their passwords regularly.
If the scribe has been through the HIPAA training process, they’ll know how to keep these confidential details secure.
How much does a medical scribe make?
In the US, the average salary for a medical scribe is $13.34 per hour or $30,426 per year. Top earners make $17.91 per hour.
A senior scribe will usually make more than a newly certified scribe, and the salary can vary depending on the person’s location.
There are similar roles that have different wages. For example, medical transcriptionists transcribe recordings for healthcare professionals. Their average salary is $16.98 per hour or $32,256 per year. If you're considering a physician assistant, expect their salary to be around $56.11 per hour.
Alternatively, if you choose Hello Rache as your virtual medical scribe company, you can get quality support from just $9.50 per hour.
Change the way you do business with a virtual medical scribe
A virtual medical scribe can be a game-changer for your healthcare clinic. The impact of scribes in your practice can be significant.
Plus, if you go with the virtual option, you’ll save time and money. You can also improve satisfaction among your existing teams and patients and eliminate repetitive tasks. Your company culture will be more positive, and you’ll get quick, accurate transcriptions when you need them.
Want to support patients in their homes or remote communities? A virtual medical scribe can be there from anywhere in the world. They can work in any healthcare landscape.
What should you look for in a scribe? Training and patient-centered care should be at the top of your wishlist. Reliability, experience, computer skills, and healthcare knowledge are other essential qualities.
Don’t forget, your patients’ information is confidential, and any medical scribe you work with will need to prioritize security.
If you’re ready to get started, you can sign up for a Hello Rache virtual assistant service. For more healthcare news, you can check out our blog.