Medical Scribe Industry Emerges as Risky Workaround to Inferior EHR Products, Says JAMA Viewpoint
January 9, 2015 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care
The emergence of medical scribes to assist physicians with electronic health record (EHR) documentation should be viewed as a workaround for managing suboptimal EHR systems. Like other workarounds in healthcare, the practice is fraught with risks to patient safety, write the authors of a viewpoint published online December 15, 2014, in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Risks associated with the use of medical scribes include stagnation in EHR product innovation as physicians adapt to an inferior product and, as a result, reduce the pressure on industry for needed improvements, as well as "unintentional or intentional functional creep" in medical scribes' responsibilities.