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16 Oct 2019

The Future of Digital Healthcare: The Virtual Medical Scribes of India

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The doctors in USA, Australia and UK are in constant struggle with the growing volume of patients. But there are unlikely group of people who are helping these doctors – virtual scribes from India. The doctors at Massachusetts General Physician Organization(MGPO) have saved more than 2 hours per session according to business standard. All thanks to virtual scribes sitting back in India, which frees up doctors for various other tasks – including seeing more patients and providing them with quality care.

So What is a Virtual Scribe?

A medical scribe is trained in charting doctor-patient encounter in real time and usage of health information technology. When the scribe works remotely or from off-site location from a HIPPA secure facility(a confidential system within and beyond healthcare facilities), they are known as virtual medical scribes.

How do Virtual Medical Scribes Work?

The doctors make use of a recording device – either phone/tablet or Google Glass or a hybrid technology which captures the interaction between the doctor and the patient. The recording is then sent to virtual scribes who document the interaction directly into the Electronic Health Record (EHR).

There are three stages involved in this process:

Before Patient Examination:

  1. Nurse or medical assistant brings the patient to the exam room, enter the medical history and vitals into clinic’s EMR System.
  2. Virtual medical scribe, connected to exam room remotely through secure, HIPAA-compliant VOIP and VPN connection, reviews patients file.
  3. The Doctor enters the exam room.

During Patient Examination:

  1. Virtual Scribe listens and transcribes the doctor patient encounter, entering notes, CPT/ICD codes and other relevant data into patient’s file through secure VPN connection.
  2. Doctor does not perform data entry during examining the patient, which helps the doctor to focus all the attention towards patient.

After Patient Examination:

  1. Doctor reviews the day’s chart with the help virtual scribe via VOIP connection makes any edits, signs off.
  2. Virtual medical scribe generates referral letters and performs other tasks, as directed.

Below is a flowchart which depicts the best practice use of a Virtual Scribe:

Virtual Medical Scribes of Bangalore | Starmedix Medical Scribing
Physicians Angels

Healthcare Organization Investing in Virtual Scribes

There are quite a number of healthcare organization that are investing in virtual scribes. Among them, some of the major ones are:

Massachusetts General Physician Organization(MGPO): MGPO has partnered with IKS health, a healthcare startup in Hyderabad and come up with a Hybrid technology called as Scribble – a virtual scribe solution.

What does Scribble do?

Scribble provides hybrid technical-human system which pairs doctor with Virtual Physician Partner (VPP) in order to create accurate and comprehensive documentation of the doctor-patient interaction. To know more about Scribble technology click here.

Another major virtual medical scribe company is Augmedix, partnered with search engine giant Google. The technology used is none other than Google’s own Google Glasses.

The Doctors wear theses device during the medical examination which live streams their interaction with the patient, who get help from the virtual scribe team sitting in Bangalore, who look on and make a detailed documentation about the interaction.

Here’s how Augmedix makes use of Google Glass :

How Augmedix makes use of Google Glass

So How Do You Become a Medical Scribe?

Medical scribes are going to be in high demand in the coming years in India. If you are interested in becoming a medical scribe, the candidate has to enrol in medical scribe training program.

But before applying for the course there are some basic requirements that are expected from the candidate. The candidate should be:

  1. Minimum 18 years of age.
  2. A minimum typing speed of 30 words per minute.
  3. Fluency in written and oral English.
  4. Basic computer knowledge.

StarMedix offers a certificate program in medical scribing. The training program is a 9 month duration program consisting of 3 levels where the candidates learn about:

  1. Complete knowledge of medical terminology.
  2. Understanding the physical examination process and record the exam details.
  3. Electronic medical records.
Procedure to Become a Medical Scribe

The 3 levels of the Medical Scribing Training are Described Below:

Level 1 – Basic training: In the first level of training, the candidates are asked to commit to memory the medical terminologies. The medical terminology course consists of the following section:

  1. English grammar
  2. Medical words and Blueprint
  3. Dynamics of medical vocabulary
  4. ICD 10 – The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is system used for clinical purpose to classify and code all diagnose, symptoms and procedure.
  5. Typing
  6. CPT/E&M – Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) is medical code used to report medical or surgical procedure to doctors or physicians.
  7. Audio and video files Roleplay

The first level of training requires that the candidates complete a minimum of 616 hours at the Starmedix Facility within the duration of 4 months after which the candidate is eligible to attempt the First Level Certification Test. The candidate has to clear the certification test in order to start the Level 2 training.

Level 2 – Scribe Training: In the level 2 of the scribe training, the scribes learn about:

  1. Medical Scribing Specialist Essentials.
  2. Medical Scribing video and audio practice + typing – where the candidate has to transcribe an audio or the video file.

The training duration for level 2 is two months and the training is provided at partner’s facility in Bangalore. The scribes are paid a stipend of Rs 12,000/month during this period. The candidate has to pass the Second Level Certification Test (SLCT) in order to move to the third level of the course.

Level 3: – Shadowing: In the third level of the training, the scribes are supposed to work alongside a senior medical scribe specialist and learn how to prepare a medical documentation. The senior medical scribe progressively gives more responsibility to the scribe until the scribe can complete the documentation without the help of trainer.

The duration for this training period is 3 months during which the scribes are paid a stipend of Rs 15,000/month.

So Is The Medical Scribe Training Program Difficult?

Scribing can be really fun and easy to do but can be difficult to learn. Having said that, the candidates can sail through the course if they have fluency in English and typing speed of at least 30 words per minute.

The only difficult part of the course is mastering the medical terminologies, the workflow and understanding the ICD-10 codes. Though the candidates are provided with sufficient time and study materials which makes it easy to understand the course.

Where to Find Medical Scribing Institute in Bangalore?

Starmedix is the only medical scribing institute in Bangalore, India providing training and certification in medical scribing course. StarMedix has veteran scribes and experienced professionals to guide you through each step during the training process. StarMedix also boosts of 100% placement guarantee along with paid internship during the training period.

For any more queries contact us here.

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