Are Medical Scribes Worth the Investment?

“Are scribes really worth it? It’s a question that has likely come up for many a hospital administrator. Now a study gauging the cost/benefit ratio of medical scribes has been completed. The landmark project, which actually was titled “Are Scribes Worth It?,” concluded that scribe programs can greatly assist higher acuity emergency departments that are struggling with long patient stays, a high percent of patients leaving without treatment and challenging electronic medical record systems.   Some medical scribe programs, according to the study, actually more than pay for themselves.

The study was produced by Tanveer Gaibi, MD, medical director for Northwest Hospital in Randallstown, Md., Michael Hochberg, MD, medical director for Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., Daria Starosta, MD, EmCare director of practice improvement, and Mark Switaj, MBA, an EmCare client administrator.

“We wanted to determine whether medical scribes are truly worth the investment,” says Dr. Starosta. “We focused on determining improvements in overall productivity and quality in the emergency departments and the financial return on investment of medical scribes.”  read more ….

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