As we step into an era of digital healthcare, virtual scribing is a trend that is rapidly gaining momentum, enabling health care providers to manage crucial patient records in real time, reducing costs and save a lot of valuable time. Here Dataquest interacts with Sridharan Sivan, Founder S10 Healthcare Solutions, a company that is playing a key role in fueling the adoption of virtual scribes, currently serving over 150 clinics in India and US. Excerpts from the interaction
How is the adoption of Virtual Scribing gaining momentum in India?
Virtual scribing is a revolutionary development in the healthcare sector that enables one to securely manage patient data in your EMR in real-time. A virtual medical scribe is a professional who is capable of listening to the discussion between the doctor and patient and interpreting that discussion into meaningful patient Health data. So a doctor using a scribe is free to consult with and examine the patient while the scribe is busy charting the health record in real time. This is made possible by equipping the exam rooms at the doctors’ clinics with good quality microphones and providing the scribe access to the EMR. The scribe can document the complete chart which begins with the History of the present illness, Past Medical & Surgical History, Family and Social History, Review of Systems, Physical Examination, Imaging & Lab, Diagnoses & Procedure Coding, Plan and E&M Coding. This is all completed within a couple of minutes of the doctor-patient encounter and the doctor can quickly review the chart and submit for billing.
How are Virtual scribes different from On-site scribes?
Virtual scribing allows the scriber to listen and transcribe the doctor-patient encounter, entering notes, CPT/ICD codes, eRx, and other relevant data directly into the patient’s chart; however he/she is not physically present during the examination. Doctor reviews the day’s charts with the Virtual Scribe via the secure VOIP connection, vocalizes any edits needed to the patient charts, and then signs off. On-site scribe requires a person to be physically present during the examination of the health seeker and manually transcribing the data in the patient’s chart. This process is more expensive in comparison and the patients might face discomfort in presence of a third person during consultation or examination with the health providers.
Important medical practices with multiple locations cannot move scribes from one site to another based on work demands during the day without loss of time due to scribe travel. If one scribe is sick or on leave, one needs to have a large pool of scribes to jump in and take over. Compared to many groups with in-house or on-site scribes, when an on-site scribe is sick or leaves, the down time before a replacement is trained can take 3 to 6 months. It has been observed that many groups have transitioned from in-house scribes to virtual scribe service, as a result of the benefits of using the virtual scribe model.
How Virtual scribes resolve the challenges faced by doctors and patients in the age of digital record keeping?
Physicians spend more time on computers updating electronic medical records (EMR) than focusing on patient examination. Moreover the physician has to spend long after office time to complete the charts. Virtual scribe helps in lessening that burden of the doctors so that they can concentrate more on the examination of the health seeker, earn more revenue by seeing more patients and have a better life in general.
Please share more insights into S10’s specific role in this space. Can you share some examples?
S10 Health is a vibrant healthcare delivery platform that is reforming healthcare by increasing the number of patient encounters, and reducing the wait time of patients of high traffic practices or increasing the patient flow of a budding practice. S10 Health has partnered with physicians in the US, India and Middle East to provide health seekers access to quality medical care.
GBR Clinic in Chennai case in point where we have made a success for a budding practice where S10 Health played a significant role in the transformation of the clinic to be rated as the number 1 infertility clinic in Chennai in a short time of one year. GBR clinic began with out–patient operations in 2014 and were operating without any technology support. It was also found that employee’s exits were creating a chaos in the organization due to lack of systematic flow of information. S10 Health’s Safe Care delivery platform provided a solution that synchronized the patient-doctor interface process. The modules of the platform involved in the transformation of GBR clinic are – Health office technology to provide a convenient access to the health seekers and efficient operations for timely delivery of care. It also includes CRM to manage health seeker relationships for promptly following up and reminding health seekers on upcoming appointments and monitor health seekers feedbacks and call centre for patient education, care coordination and feedback monitoring.