5 things anesthesia providers should know about medical scribes

Anesthesia clinicians should weigh the pros and cons before using medical scribes to alleviate administrative burden, according to Anesthesia Business Consultants President and CEO Tony Mira.

Five things to know about medical scribes:

1. Medical scribes are in "the fastest-growing medical field," according to Jeffrey A. Gold, MD, of Portland-based Oregon Health Sciences University.

2. Hourly compensation for medical scribes ranges from $13 to $25. Their average base pay is an estimated $25,000 per year.

3. CMS doesn't pay separately for medical scribes or offer official guidance on scribe services.

4. Scribe use may decrease physician overtime and time spent on EHRs and documentation, according to some studies. It can also increase patient volumes, relative value unit numbers, net revenue, productivity, emergency department efficiency and clinician satisfaction.

5. Some physicians are concerned scribe use could reduce patient satisfaction or quality and safety of patient care. Others have speculated scribe utilization could cause a deceleration and stagnation in EHR advancements.

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