AI Medical Scribing: The Impact of Generative AI for Healthcare Providers

Medical documentation is vital for patient care, crucial for provider communication, and a tedious task for busy healthcare professionals. After decades of time-consuming record-keeping, generative AI is shaking up the healthcare industry with AI medical scribes. 

This guide closely examines healthcare scribes, discussing what they are, covering the challenges with the alternatives, explaining how they work, reviewing the benefits, and discussing the outlook for the future. 

What is an AI medical scribe?

An AI medical scribe is a software program that uses natural language processing (NLP) to capture and document a conversation between a medical provider and a patient. This tool can scan the conversation for pertinent information about symptoms, diagnoses, procedures, medications, and orders and input the data into an electronic health record (EHR). Taking it one step further, an AI medical scribe can also assess the data and generate diagnoses, treatment, and medication recommendations. 

Common Challenges Medical Scribes Face

Historically, health providers handle documentation on their own or with the assistance of a professional medical scribe. A medical scribe is a physician's personal assistant who gathers information for a patient's visit and manages documentation in the EHR. While a medical scribe can relieve some of the workload from the provider, the job comes with some distinct challenges, including the following: 

  • Long, Irregular Hours: Medical scribing is time-consuming as healthcare is 24/7. The shift work requires evenings, weekends, holidays, and overnights, which can take a toll.
  • Emotional Stress: Medical scribes hear all the details patients and doctors discuss. This inevitably involves dealing with injuries, illnesses, and trauma, which can be emotionally difficult and even lead to mental health challenges if the stress goes unaddressed over time. 
  • High Pressure: The job often comes with high workloads and pressure to complete documentation quickly and accurately.  
  • Challenges with Compliance: Medical scribes must follow strict HIPAA rules to safeguard patient privacy besides maintaining professional boundaries and being objective. Adhering to these standards can be challenging and complex. 
  • Steep Learning Curve: Medical scribes must know medical terminology, understand specialties, and be proficient with EHR systems. This can present a steep learning curve for someone new to the field. 
  • Room for Errors: Despite the best efforts of the most experienced medical scribe, the potential still exists for misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and miscommunications, all of which can lead to serious issues. 

How does an AI medical scribe work?

An AI medical scribe typically exists as software installed on a dedicated smartphone or tablet. In many cases, the software can also be downloaded as an app onto any device. Using automatic speech recognition, NLP, and machine learning (ML), AI medical scribe software records in-person and telehealth visits, listens, takes notes, and updates the EHR accordingly. 

To use the software, a provider must start the recording by pressing an icon in the app at the start of the patient visit. Once the visit is over, the provider can press the icon again to stop the recording. The AI-generated records are immediately available for review by the provider or a human scribe. 

The Benefits of an AI Medical Scribe

AI medical scribes offer many advantages, including the following: 

  • Saves Time: Documentation takes a substantial amount of time, which cuts down on the time providers can spend with patients during their workday. Using an AI medical scribe saves time so that providers can increase the time at the bedside and see more patients.
  • Allows Notes to be Available Immediately: It's not uncommon for providers to save documentation until a break or at the end of their shift. However, it would be ideal for documentation to happen in real-time, a possibility that only exists with fully automated AI medical scribes. 
  • Lowers Costs: Medical transcription can be expensive as it requires a substantial amount of providers' time, hiring transcriptionists, or outsourcing, all of which are costly. When providers can use AI medical scribes, healthcare centers can save money. 

The Future of Generative AI for Medical Scribes

While AI medical scribe technology is relatively new, it has the potential to transform healthcare and improve patient care. As generative AI advances, AI medical scribes will become more accurate and trustworthy, leading providers and patients to value the technology. 

Healthcare companies looking to revolutionize care delivery with empowering technology can partner with Encora. Encora has a long history of delivering exceptional software engineering and product engineering services across various tech-enabled industries, including the healthcare and life sciences industries. Encora's team of software engineers is experienced in helping business leaders increase the precision of medicine, enhance care delivery, improve patient outcomes, reduce costs, and drive groundbreaking research. This is why fast-growing tech companies partner with Encora to outsource product development and drive growth. We are deeply expert in the various disciplines, tools, and technologies that power the emerging economy, and this is one of the primary reasons that clients choose Encora over the many strategic alternatives that they have.

To learn more about AI medical scribes, contact Encora today! 

Share this post