In a BMJ (British Medical Journal) study, emergency physicians saw 26% more patients and patients left the emergency department 19 minutes sooner when a medical scribe assisted the physician. Having scribes on the team was safe and the scribe role was found to be cost-effective for Australian hospitals.
Emergency physicians are spending more time than ever before filling in electronic forms, taking them away from patient bedsides. Cabrini Health partnered with Monash Health, Austin Health and Bendigo Health in Victoria, Australia to evaluate whether scribes should be employed to undertake clerical data entry instead of the physician. Physicians enjoyed working with scribes and were able to see more patients whilst feeling less tired and less stressed. Patients didn’t mind scribes being part of the team and the scribe (usually a health student) was paid a salary whilst being exposed to frontline medicine as an integral part of the health team.
The study is the first independently funded, multi-centre, randomised trial to investigate whether the scribe role should be implemented. It demonstrated that scribe programs are straightforward to implement (even outside the USA) and can be operationalised in a relatively short period of time.
Read the study here:
Time to think hard about how clinicians work in a digital age:
Innovation: Medical Scribes in Australian Emergency Departments: http://thebestofemergencymedicine.com/2018/10/15/innovation-medical-scribes-in-australian-emergency-departments/
Dr Katie Walker
Director of Emergency Medicine Research & Director of Scribe Program, Cabrini Health
Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor, Monash University, Australia
Cabrini Emergency Department, Malvern is an urban private not for profit hospital with 25,000 ED attendances per annum and an admission rate of 50%
Article author: Katie Walker, editor: Keith Joe