Electronic health records, despite their positive attributes, increase physician workload and decrease efficiency.
Dr Sarah Glover and colleagues from Florida, USA evaluated the impact of scribes in the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinic on improvement of the physician-patient relationship, physician productivity, clinical efficiency, and achievement of some physician quality reporting system metrics.
The team analyzed pre- and postscribe data between fiscal years 2015 and 2016 using data from patients at the Inflammatory Bowel Clinic at the University of Florida.
The main outcomes were patient satisfaction scores, qualitative physician interview, clinic appointment lengths, work relative value units, level of coding, revenue, and physician quality reporting system data on bone density screening and vaccination.
appointment length decreased by 13.5 minutes
|Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Patient satisfaction scores increased from 6.8/10 to 9.2/10, clinic appointment length decreased by 13.5 minutes and documentation stress decreased.
Clinic visits increased by 76, leading to an increase in work work relative value units by 332.55, total charges billed by $71,439, and total charges collected by $27,387 between the first quarters of fiscal years 2015 and 2016.
The extra revenue for the first quarter was 536% higher than the salary of the scribe for the same period.
There was a 1.8-fold increase in referrals for bone density scans, and 2.9-fold and 4.8-fold increases in vaccination rates for influenza and pneumonia, respectively.
Dr Glover's team comments, "The use of scribes improved the physician-patient relationship, clinical efficiency, physician productivity, bone density screening, and vaccinations for flu and pneumonia."
"If adopted by health systems, it may lead to significant cost savings and improved clinical outcomes."