The Role of a Medical Scribe in the Healthcare Setting 

A medical scribe is a professional who assists doctors and other healthcare providers in recording patient information in their electronic health records. The role of a medical scribe is to listen to the patient’s story, capture relevant information, and accurately document it into the patient’s chart. A medical scribe is a professional who specializes in documenting the details of patient visits. This includes recording patient histories, physical exam findings, lab results, diagnostic tests, and treatments. By taking on much of the administrative burden for physicians, scribes help improve the quality of care and reduce doctor burnout. Let’s take a closer look at what it means to be a medical scribe. 

What Does a Medical Scribe Do? 

The primary responsibility of a medical scribe is to accurately document patient encounters in an electronic health record (EHR). This includes gathering vital signs, inputting diagnosis codes, and entering medication orders. In addition, they may also be responsible for ordering laboratory tests or imaging studies, documenting past medical history and current symptoms, or writing progress notes. Because they are often present during appointments with patients, they also serve as an extra set of eyes and ears for physicians. 

Medical scribes must have excellent communication skills as well as knowledge of medical terminology. They need to be able to quickly assess situations and provide accurate data entry into EHRs while still being able to maintain an empathetic bedside manner with patients. Furthermore, they must understand HIPAA regulations regarding patient privacy and confidentiality.  

Because of the complexity of their job duties and the importance placed on accuracy when dealing with sensitive patient information, most states require that medical scribes become certified before working in a clinical environment. There are multiple organizations that offer certification programs for prospective medical scribes such as AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders) or AHDI (Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity). 

Benefits of Having a Medical Scribe 

Having a medical scribe on staff can greatly benefit both healthcare providers and patients alike by reducing administrative burdens while increasing accuracy in documentation and improving quality care overall. Since some estimates suggest that physicians spend up to 25% or more of their time performing EHR-related tasks during office visits instead of providing direct patient care, having someone else handle this data entry frees up physicians’ time so they can focus on giving each individual patient the attention they deserve without worrying about missing any important details during exams or consultations. Additionally, by freeing up more time for face-to-face interactions with patients, studies have shown that this can result in increased satisfaction from both patients and providers alike which ultimately leads to better outcomes overall.  

Medical scribes play an integral role in helping healthcare providers deliver high-quality care while reducing administrative burdens associated with electronic health records documentation. Although becoming certified requires dedication and hard work, it can pay off in terms of job satisfaction due to the meaningful impact one makes each day by helping those in need receive better care while relieving stress levels among healthcare providers who might otherwise feel overwhelmed due to paperwork demands outside their scope of expertise. 


Ivy Skye Marshall: Ivy, a social justice reporter, covers human rights issues, social movements, and stories of community resilience.