A medical scribe is a valuable part of any healthcare team. They improve the efficiency of the team, patient satisfaction, and quality of care. They may work alongside nurses and doctors, or they may work in the medical records department. They sometimes work at the interface between departments, collecting lab test results and patient intake records before sharing relevant information with medical professionals. Let’s look at the process of how to become a medical scribe.
Gain the Necessary Skills
Medical scribes need to be reliable, well-organized, and able to multitask. If you already meet that minimum threshold, then you need to develop the related professional skills.
For example, you have to be able to type quickly and near perfectly. You’ll need excellent knowledge of medical terminology. Medical scribes may write referral letters for doctors and help electronically prescribe medicine, though they cannot write legal prescriptions on their own. They’ll also need to be able to keep track of medical testing times and upload records to where patients can see them or send them to patients directly, depending on the situation.
Go for Certification
Becoming a medical scribe requires more than the ability to accurately transcribe medical orders and voice dictation. They have to be very familiar with a variety of electronic health records systems. A medical scribe may or may not be certified as an EHR user, but they should be certified as medical scribes.
There are several organizations that train, license, and certify medical scribes. The EPPA or Emergency Physicians Professional Association supports acute care medical professionals. EPPA Scribes benefit from a strong professional network that connects them with employers after earning certification.
You must have, at a minimum, a high school diploma, and medical scribe certification to work as a medical scribe. A related college degree may be accepted by some employers, but it may not be enough. For example, training as a nursing assistant doesn’t guarantee you’re familiar with electronic health records systems or transcription. Certification as a medical scribe demonstrates to employers that you have all of the necessary skills to work in this critical role. It does this by requiring someone to earn a passing score on standardized exams, demonstrating that the person knows what employers consider necessary for such a professional to do the job well.
Search for Your First Job as a Medical Scribe
Medical scribe programs often help medical scribes get practical experience before they’re issued certification. In these cases, paid residency training gives them practical experience to put on their resume before they have certification. And the group they trained with may decide to hire them as full-time professionals. If not, then the person has both experience and certification and can apply for jobs as a medical scribe. Organizations that offer certification for medical scribes always post related jobs for their certificate holders. That is aside from the professional connections you’ve made during your training, such as peers who refer you to jobs at the places where they now work.
Demand for medical scribes is expected to grow 15% between now and 2023, driven by the fact that doctors want to spend more time with patients and less time transcribing records. This is increasing demand for medical scribes in hospitals, doctor’s offices, emergency rooms, and other healthcare facilities.
Medical scribes take up the administrative burden of capturing, updating and managing patient records, freeing up medical professionals to focus on patients. Demand for this skill set by those who are certified experts is only going to grow.