What is a Medical Scribe and How Does It Work?

What is a Medical Scribe – Overview

With the increasing popularity of electronic health records (EHR), it has become crucial to keep all details about patients and their recommended treatment procedures.

This can result in investing several hours into record-keeping and other clerical tasks. Doctors are increasingly looking for professionals to help with these tasks.

For this, hospitals hire medical scribes. These professionals work with healthcare providers to document patient encounters, treatment plans, and clinical outcomes in the EHR.

In this article, we will learn about medical scribes, what they do, and how to become a medical scribe in the US.

What is a Medical Scribe

What is a Medical Scribe

What is a Medical Scribe

A medical scribe is a professional who assists doctors. Medical scribes work to document a patient’s health records, including medical histories, allergies, treatments, lab results and even instructions given to the patient during medical consultation.

Medical scribes assist healthcare providers by documenting patient encounters in real-time, allowing providers to focus more on patient care. Scribes are trained in medical terminology but do not make independent clinical decisions.

If they find inconsistencies or incomplete information, medical scribes alert the healthcare provider, who then addresses the issue. Scribes may assist in completing records under the direction of the provider.

Medical scribes record patient information using electronic means, usually with special software. Doctors can easily access their work when they need to check a patient’s medical records.

Medical scribes may report to a variety of supervisors, including clinic managers, lead scribes, or directly to the healthcare providers they assist. Medical scribes record patient information so that doctors can focus completely on diagnosing and treating the patient.

In effect, medical scribes improve the efficiency of hospitals and clinics by ensuring accurate recording of patients’ medical history.

Where can Medical Scribes Work?

Medical scribes can work in hospitals and private clinics. Conventionally, medical scribes assist doctors during patient visits and record everything that happens during consultation in EHR software.

They also point out queries or inconsistencies in the EHR so doctors can keep track of patients’ progress and decide on the next treatment course.

In some cases, medical scribes also schedule appointments and get lab reports that the doctor needs to analyze and interpret.

While some organizations utilize remote medical scribes, many hospitals and clinics employ scribes who work on-site or combine on-site and remote scribing services, depending on the healthcare setting’s needs. These scribes are connected with the designated doctor via audio or video calls.

The hospital usually contacts an agency to hire remote-located medical scribes.

How to Become a Medical Scribe?

Here is a stepwise process to become a professional medical scribe:

Step 1 – Complete high school

To become a medical scribe, the minimum educational qualification you need is a high school degree. If you chose English and Biology as subjects in high school, then this is even more beneficial.

You are already aware of the basics of human anatomy and have sufficient communication skills. A good high school score can boost your career as a medical scribe.

Step 2 – Get certified

Numerous institutes train aspiring medical scribes. Medical scribe training programs vary in length and content, often including detailed medical terminology, EHR training, and the legal aspects of healthcare documentation, in addition to typing and communication skills.

You may also learn how to improve your listening and comprehension skills for verbal and written communication in the healthcare industry.

The majority of training institutes also provide internships and paid assignments. Once you complete the certification program, the institute may also help you get placements in medical scribing companies.

Step 3 – Get relevant experience

The last step is acquiring sufficient experience. For instance, if you’ve previously worked as a customer service specialist, a transcriber, or an office assistant, this will work in your favor.

These types of experiences in your resume attract hiring managers more.

Although your new employers may offer on-the-job training, getting your experience in the medical scribe industry is highly recommended.

What is the average salary of a Medical Scribe in the US

According to BLS, the average salary of a medical scribe in the US is around US$ 37,090 per year.

The exact salary for a medical scribe mainly depends on proficiency, experience and education qualifications. You will likely earn even more if you work for certain employers to earn promotions.


Medical scribes are crucial in today’s high-tech medical industry. These assistants to physicians help to alleviate the clerical workload of doctors.

They have helped remarkably streamline hospital and clinic diagnostic and treatment processes. Consult with a career counselor before choosing to become a medical scribe.

See Also

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How Much Do Physician Assistants Make

Current Version
June 13, 2022
Written By
Shubham Grover
March 22, 2024
Updated By
Andrea Morales G.

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