Association of Medical Scribes in Primary Care With Physician Workflow and Patient Experience

This study published in JAMA Internal Medicine investigates whether the use of medical scribes decreases electronic health record documentation burden and improves productivity. Widespread use of EHRs in medical care has resulted in increased physician workload and less patient-doctor interaction. While there has been an increased use of medical scribes for EHR assistance, few studies have examined their use rigorously. This study randomly assigned primary care physicians to start a three month period with and without scribes and alternated their exposure status every three months for a year. A survey was conducted after each study period to measure perceptions of documentation burden and visit interactions. Results showed that scribed periods were associated with less self-reported after hours EHR documentation and a higher likelihood of more patient interaction.

Organizational Strategies, Practice Environment

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