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 surgeons and doctors to document everything they need for medication compliance.
In this article, we will learn about medical scribes, what they do, and how to become a medical scribe in the US in 2023.
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 usually write instead of doctors because they have sufficient knowledge about medical terms and have clinical experience.
If they find any inconsistency, medical scribes let the doctor know, remedy the error and even complete unfinished patient records.
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 usually work under a manager, who is mostly a quality assurance specialist or a nurse. 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.
The majority of hospitals today hire professionally-trained medical scribes from remote out-of-country locations. 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.
The reason is that you are already aware of the basics of human anatomy and have sufficient communication skills. A good score in high school can boost your career as a medical scribe.
Step 2 – Get certified
There are numerous institutes that train aspiring medical scribes. The certification programs are usually around 4 to 6 months long and focus on typing and learning medical terminology.
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, then this works in your favor.
These types of experiences in your resume attract hiring managers more.
Although your new employers may offer on-the-job training, it is highly recommended to get your own experience in the medical scribe industry.
What is the average salary of a Medical Scribe in the US?
According to surveys, the average salary of a medical scribe in the US is around US$ 30,920 per month.
The exact salary for a medical scribe mainly depends on proficiency, experience and education qualifications. If you work for certain employers to earn promotions, you will likely earn even more.
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 the diagnostic and treatment processes in hospitals and clinics. Make sure to consult with a career counselor before choosing to become a medical scribe.
I am a dedicated healthcare researcher and an enthusiast specializing in medical grants, medical education and research. Through my articles, I aim to empower healthcare professionals and researchers with valuable insights and resources to navigate these critical aspects effectively.