Using a Scribe to Improve Outpatient Physician Care.

Endocrine conditions are generally treated at home. Treatment can be complicated. A major purpose of appointments with the endocrinologist is to learn more about treatment. Often, a personalized plan is needed, depending on one’s daily schedules and activities. As a result, visits to the endocrinologist often involve numerous suggestions and details. Recording all of these details into the medical record can be difficult and time consuming. Two physicians in our Division participated in a pilot project whereby a scribe accompanied the physician during outpatient visits with the purpose of documenting the discussions and details. The results from this pilot project have now been published. The findings indicate that scribes have variable impact on visit times and physician charting burden, with improvements seen in one sub-specialty (developmental-behavioral pediatrics) but not another (pediatric endocrinology) . Patient satisfaction was equally high (>95%) with or without scribes. Two physicians from our Division, Dr. Kanner and Dr. Pesce contributed to the project and published manuscript. The paper is entitled “The Value of Adding Scribe Services to Two Distinct Pediatric Subspecialties in the Era of the Electronic Medical Record” and is being published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics. The manuscript’s abstract can be found at Pubmed (link).

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