Scale and efficiency—why AI makes more sense than medical scribes

When I was interviewing at the University of Virginia Medical School for their residency program, they told me I’d see just as many patients in three years as the average resident in a four-year program because of their medical scribe program. I knew that documentation was a burden and a significant contributor to burnout, so I was thrilled when I heard this – and it turned out to be the case. But I found that having a scribe in the room can be jarring to patients, is often a space constraint, and there’s a lot of churn.

A few years later, I started to work as a Medical Director at an emergency department where we did not have medical scribes. That was difficult because I had become accustomed to having someone document my clinical notes. As my burnout mounted, it got me thinking about the need for documentation support, no matter what type or size of the healthcare facility you work for. There had to be a better way to document care, whether onsite or virtual. Scribes are traditionally pre-med students or PA’s, so they are always moving on. That means that there’s constant churn and time spent hiring and training new scribes. They have to be managed by you, and they can’t do everything you’d like them to, such as placing orders. Then there’s the scheduling piece that staff typically takes care of, which can be a headache.

The use of medical scribes originated and accelerated a decade ago, mainly due to the HITECH Act, which mandated the use of electronic medical records.  Since then, AI technology has advanced to the point where it can replace medical scribes and do much more, such as place orders and scale across healthcare organizations.

Nuance has created an AI-powered ambient clinical intelligence solution called the Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX). It captures and contextualizes patient-provider conversations at the point of care and automatically creates clinical notes for review and signature in the EHR. This technology decouples scribes from physician’s enabling scale across your organization with no changes to existing workflows.  DAX can be used for onsite and telehealth visits in all ambulatory specialties. It’s in wide use at national and regional health systems and medical practices. Now you can support your entire organization instead of just individual physicians.

Think of DAX as another support tool that not only helps physicians do their jobs to the best of their ability but also improves the patient experience. It reduces burnout and improves financial outcomes from reduced churn—provider and patient churn – as well as from increased throughput due to time savings and more accurate billing.

I know providers that were planning on retiring but didn’t because of DAX.  They are happy to be practicing at the top of their license again and are extending their careers. 

Why settle for a sub-par solution when there are new innovative methods that do what you need better? Wouldn’t you want to use the best tools to ensure the best outcomes, attract the best talent and provide the best experience?

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Discover how you can automatically document care to improve the patient-provider experience, decrease provider burnout and improve financial outcomes. Join us for a virtual demonstration of the Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX).

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Jared Pelo

About Jared Pelo

Jared Pelo, MD, is an Emergency Medicine physician and innovator. Dr. Pelo helps lead the ambient clinical intelligence team at Nuance where he is a Chief Medical Information Officer. Dr. Pelo’s passion is the intersection of technology and healthcare. With a deep understanding of complex systems and artificial intelligence, he creates solutions that make healthcare more functional and efficient.