On why medical scribes are money well spent, especially in the age of electronic medical records, which unlike my iPhone, makes things take infinitely longer.
September 8, 2016
The following is not FACTUALLY accurate. Details have been changed, things deleted, stuff made up, all to protect identity. But it is 100% absolutely true.
Hey, a patient that brings their previous medical records! Awesome! I am about to thank them but my eyes quickly glance over the first page. It is a genetic test. Talking about theoretical drug-drug interactions. Ordered by his chiropractor. A confused look frumples my brow quickly replacing the smile.
"Could you please give me a bit information on these tests and why they were ordered?"
"My chiropractor ordered them for me. And he told me to ask you about the results."
"So he ordered them and charged you, but did NOT go over any of the results with you? Is that correct? I want to make sure I understand this properly."
"Yup. He said that you would know what to do with them."
I certainly did. I wanted to put them through the shredder but now they are a legal document and I am bound ethically to them. I glance over them for 5 seconds which is 5 seconds longer than the "data" deserves. I spent nearly 15 years in research and know firsthand the utility of this stuff.
I reassure the patient, "none of this is surprising or concerning. And it is not going to change how I manage your heart disease and diabetes."
And instead of shredding them, I dutifully scan them into our system to be added to growing pile of medical records that no one will ever be able to make sense of.