Scribe Project FAQ

As many are aware, the Department initiated a pilot project testing the use of Scribes with providers in clinic. Heidi Hansen has been facilitating this project and we connected with Heidi asking her more about the Scribe project.

What are Scribes?

Scribes are documentation assistants who follow faculty into their appointments to help document the visits so that the faculty can focus more on the patient’s needs instead of worrying about writing what is going on in the visit.

Which providers are using them?

Currently we are piloting this model with four providers. The providers who were selected and agreed to trial this are Drs. Leyser and Tewar in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics; and Drs. Kanner and Pesce in Endocrinology.

Will their presence impact patient or clinic flow?

No, the workflow of the clinic should not change at all. The patient however, could be impacted. They could see more face-to-face interaction with their doctor and more attention to their needs during the visit among other potential positive impacts.

What is the benefit of using Scribes, and what is the goal of the program?

There are numerous benefits to using scribes. Just a couple include the increase of provider job satisfaction by reducing the amount of time that they have to do documentation outside of the work day; also, patient satisfaction is a benefit and a goal of this project. Patients should see an increase of provider engagement during their visits.

Specifically, the program is tracking the following metrics to determine if the goals are being met:

  • Provider’s daily time in Epic
  • Physician Burnout Survey
  • Epic Status Board usage to measure:
    • provider in room time
    • patient time in waiting area
  • Patient survey/feedback for Scribes in the room
  • Chart completion time
  • RVUs/Productivity

Do the physicians still sign off on the clinic notes themselves?

Yes, the physician is still 100% responsible for the documentation; the scribe fills in the information then sends it to the provider for review, additions, and signature.

How long does the pilot project last, and is the goal to expand the program or make it permanent in the future?

The plan is to pilot this for six months and then step back and evaluate the results. If it is successful we may look at expanding the program where it is appropriate and would be a benefit to all involved.

Where do the Scribes come from, internal source or external?

Who do they report to? Currently our scribes are contracted through ScribeAmerica. They technically report to the manager at Scribe America but Heidi Hansen is the UIHC contact within pediatrics.

Do the Scribes have access to Epic?

Yes, the scribes go through LIP training at HSSB so they can gain access to EPIC and be trained in the basics of EPIC documentation. They then have modified access so they can access the different pieces of EPIC to assist the providers with note documentation, patient histories, instructions, and orders.

Anything else you would like to add about the program?

There has been some learning curve to this project and the providers involved have been very supportive and flexible with this venture. Here are some of the positive comments which we have received from providers using scribes recently.

  • “Significant increase in the quality of interactions with patients and their families now that I don’t have to share my time between the screen and them. Real face-to-face interaction!”
  • “I feel much less burred out than previously without the current need of typing.”
  • “From a teaching standpoint, I can allow students to see more of my patients if we decide they don’t need to focus on note writing with me but instead history taking or presentations.”
  • “Today I closed all of my encounters at the end of the clinic. I am modifying the way I work in order to find a better balance in my life.”

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