Q: How will I benefit from being a scribe?
A: Being a scribe is an invaluable experience for any person preparing for a career in healthcare. Scribing gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the lifestyle and decision-making processes of physicians. You also gain the experience of preparing complete medical notes, learning medications, common diagnoses, treatments, procedures, and common symptoms in the process. Scribing is the best opportunity to become an integral component of the healthcare team and gain clinical experience prior to pursuing higher education in healthcare fields. It is also a great opportunity for those who are considering switching to a career in medicine or simply want to explore career options.
Q: What does a scribe do?
A: Medical scribes observe and document in real-time patient histories, examinations, procedures, reassessments, consultations, and other aspects of the patient’s care in the electronic health record. Scribes can also search for recent pertinent information regarding specialty or emergency room visits, lab results, and radiology results to make it more accessible for the provider.
Q: Are there things a scribe cannot do?
A: Medical scribes are not licensed healthcare providers and are prohibited from interviewing patients, examining patients, assisting with any medical procedures, physically assisting patients (e.g., ambulation), serving as translators, making medical decisions, making independent observations of the patient, and signing orders.
Q: Are medical scribes responsible for billing and coding?
A: Scribes can enter billing information into the EHR only as indicated by the provider (e.g., specific CPT or ICD-10 codes) but cannot independently make a determination as to which code or billing level to select.
Q: What kind of practice would I be working for?
A: Scribes in our Minnesota branch work in Emergency Medicine, Ophthalmology, OB/GYN, family medicine, and dermatology. Scribes in our Denver branch work in a variety of family practice clinics throughout the Greater Denver area.
Q: What are the expectations for working on holidays and weekends?
A: Healthcare is a 24/7/365 field, so if you’re preparing to work in medicine, it is reasonable to presume you won’t be working bankers’ hours. However, most clinic providers work more “standard” hours during the workweek and sometimes limited hours on weekends. Your hours are scheduled to match the provider for which you will be scribing.
Q: Will I be able to get letters of recommendation for school or job applications?
A: Yes! Scribes are welcome to ask for letters of recommendation from their providers or from the Clinical Scribes Medical Director.
Q: What about patient privacy issues like HIPAA?
A: All of our scribes are trained and tested on the principles of the health insurance portability and accountability act (HIPAA) will abide by these standards in the clinical setting.
Q: What EHRs do you work with?
A: We work with all EHRs.
Q: What does the training process for becoming a scribe look like?
A: Scribes receive comprehensive online training that was custom-designed by and for Clinical Scribes LLC. Scribes then receive EHR training, if applicable, and subsequently spend 5-10 training shifts onsite under the guidance of a veteran medical scribe. During this onsite training period, scribes will progress from observing the veteran scribe to scribing independently.
Q: Are medical scribes hired by the clinic or by Clinical Scribes?
A: Clinical Scribes recruits, hires, trains, schedules, and handles payroll for our own scribes.
Q: Is it possible to scribe from home?
A: Yes, telescribing has followed the recent shift toward telemedicine. Using technology, a scribe can observe a patient encounter remotely and document the findings into the EHR in much the same way as if the scribe was there in-person.