In today’s fast-paced medical field, many physicians have become overburdened and inundated with documentation requirements for hospitals and insurance companies. The excessive amount of time spent documenting doctor-patient visits, patient information and results prevent physicians from examining and treating more patients and decreases the total amount of time they can spend with each patient. For these reasons, patient care and industry standards may suffer which is why many physicians and hospitals have turned to hiring medical scribes to assist them with their need to reduce the documentation overload.
But, what exactly is a medical scribe? Fundamentally, a medical scribe is a professional aide and assistant who specializes in clinical documentation and data management for doctor-patient encounters in real-time. The scribe joins a physician on their rounds and oversees the documentation for each patient encounter such as inpatient admissions, medical histories, physical exams, and discharges. Most hospitals and physicians use an EHR (electronic health record), but many still use paper documentation. Medical scribes can also create referral letters, sort and manage medical documents, and keep track of lab results and imaging studies for each patient. Scribes do not provide direct patient care nor do they perform any clinical duties, they simply observe, communicate and document.
Many people enter this position with the intention of eventually furthering their career in a related medical field such as a nurse, physician, or physician assistant. As a medical scribe you will learn how to effectively interact and communicate with physicians, staff and other ancillary providers on a day-to-day basis. Most importantly, you will gain valuable clinical knowledge and insight that will prepare you for a future career in healthcare.
So, what qualifications do you need to have to become a medical scribe? Actually, prior medical expertise is not a requirement but is surely an added bonus. Other qualifications and requirements include:
All across America, the medical scribe is rapidly becoming a highly sought after commodity in the healthcare setting, especially in California where population growth and the ever-increasing demand on hospitals, clinics and physicians are driving the market to higher industry standards. The demand is high, so why not become a medical scribe today?
In order to assist you with your job search, here is a listing of California hospitals and clinics hiring Medical Scribes now!
Written by Sarah Gehrke, MSN, RN and last updated Jun 9, 2017
Last reviewed by Michael A. Tomeo MD on Jun 9, 2017