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5 Ways to Avoid Physician Burnout with a Virtual Medical Scribe

Burnout is a growing concern in any industry but mostly in the medical field. According to a study by the National Academy of Medicine, more than half of American physicians report feeling burned out. With the pandemic, this number is only increasing.

Definition and implications

Physician burnout is a condition marked by emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and feelings of detachment from work. It can be caused by long hours, stress, and the pressure of having to meet high standards.

The causes of provider burnout may be different in rural and urban settings. In rural areas, there may be fewer physicians per capita, which can lead to longer work hours and greater stress. There may also be fewer specialists available, forcing physicians to take on more complex cases. The upside of rural areas is accessibility to a lot of activities to do during your day off to unwind and just take a breather. Star-gazing might be an option out on the patio of a rural setting which is almost non-existent in an urban area.

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In an urban setting, the hustle and bustle of the city may lead to feelings of chaos and stress. Traffic and a crowd of people might be a hurdle before you can even get to the office. There may also be more competition among physicians for patients and resources. Accessibility to supplies and other needs are of course just around the corner in most cities which means a lot of people flock there regularly bringing in various illnesses.

Regardless of where doctors are, burnout is a real concern as it can lead to decreased productivity. When a provider lacks the drive to care for as many people as possible, it eventually loads this responsibility to other providers and the cycle begins. Providers who are experiencing burnout may be more likely to make mistakes or provide sub-optimal care.

Doctors leaving their medical practices tend to follow suit when they can’t bear their ever-growing responsibilities and workload. Worst case scenario when intervention is not sought or help was not found in time, this can lead to suicide. This is a huge problem in such a vital part of the community and it needs to be addressed.

Burnout is more common in the medical field than you think

Thankfully, there are steps that you can take to prevent burnout and keep your medical practice running smoothly. One such step is to employ the help of a virtual medical scribe.

Virtual medical scribe services

Medical scribe services offer to handle nearly every administrative task in your office remotely without being actually physically present in your office. Tasks like real-time medical scribing for every patient visit or medical transcription of your recordings that you have been meaning to document in written or digital form.

Virtual medical assistant services with the intent of mimicking having an on-site scribe, medical scribes are trained to be HIPAA compliant ensuring the busy provider that all important information taken in the exam room is properly documented. This ensures that documentation for every client visit is complete, every laboratory test needed is requested and medications are ordered while updating these changes in the client’s electronic records in a timely manner.

Having a system where your virtual scribe takes care of all the data gathering and data entry allows you to center your attention on the needs of your patients. Imagine not having to worry about your deadlines and paperwork as your virtual medical scribes have everything ready for any audit or future evaluation of provider productivity.

Your in-house team members simply delegate tasks to your medical virtual scribes, taking the pressure off your in-office staff as well. All our medical scribe is trained to follow the process that physicians have in place and are healthcare professionals which means they have an accurate grasp of medical terminology and understands the importance of a HIPAA-compliant practice.

Here are 5 ways that having a virtual medical scribe can help prevent burnout:

virtual medical assistant services

Free up your time so you can focus on patient care

It’s no secret that healthcare providers are some of the busiest people around. Between seeing clients, completing paperwork, and dealing with insurance companies, it’s easy to lose track of time which can lead to long hours in the office. Providers are often under a lot of pressure to see as many clients as possible and get all the paperwork done on time. This leaves little time for rest or relaxation. And if you don’t take the time to relax, you’re at risk of burning out.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by data entry and documentation of clinical notes, virtual medical scribes can help free up your time by taking these off your hands. Virtual medical scribes can take on many of the tasks that are currently occupying your time behind the desk, allowing you to concentrate on your specialty of providing quality medical care to more patients.

Some of the tasks that virtual medical scribes can help with include:

  • Answering phone lines
  • Scheduling and confirming appointments
  • Insurance verification and prior authorization
  • Billing and collections
  • Updating electronic health records systems
  • Scribing patient visits in real-time

Most documentation tasks can be handled remotely and having a virtual assistant accomplish these enables you and your staff to just be in the office during regular hours for patient visits. You don’t have to worry about placing extra time in the office or needing to hire extra help just to cope with all the paperwork that has to be organized, updated, or submitted.

When you spend too much time in the clinic trying to make a dent in your piling paperwork you lose time to unwind for another busy day. This may not seem much when you are starting out but in time it can mount up and be more than just a necessary burden. This is especially true if you don’t take the time to unwind after a long, stressful day.

Help you stay organized and efficient

Medical scribes can help you stay organized and efficient by taking on many of the documentation that can clutter up your day. A well-organized office is a productive office, and medical scribes can help you achieve that goal.

A virtual scribe keeps the office running

You would only need to orient your virtual scribes about your office protocols and procedures so they would know what tasks have to be done on a daily basis, which systems need to be updated on certain occasions and how to file every document. Having a system in place for your virtual scribes to work with enables you and your staff to locate the necessary information anytime you need them without needing your virtual scribes to provide them over to you.

This would not only keep your practice efficient but enable you to evaluate your virtual scribes over time as well. The best thing is you can decide to pause their services during the off-season for your special field of practice and just avail of their services again when the need arises.

Reduce stress and anxiety

The main cause of stress for healthcare providers is the overwhelming number of people they see every day. This can lead to rushed appointments, which in turn can lead to mistakes. Providers are also responsible for documenting everything they did to the clients which can add to their stress levels.

One of the many causes of anxiety for healthcare providers is dealing with all the paperwork that has to be submitted to various facilities and insurance companies. Trying to find the time to do everything can be daunting, and it’s easy to understand how some providers feel like they’re constantly playing catch up.

The medical documentation that virtual scribes can take on can be a huge relief for any doctor who feels overwhelmed and stressed. Virtual scribes can help physicians stay organized and

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efficient, freeing up your time so you can have a breather between visits and be ready for more patients after a little break.

Having medical scribes handle the burden of documentation helps create a positive environment for physicians, their staff as well as the clients. You can concentrate on providing quality medical patient care without having to worry about the administrative side of things.

The doctor overwhelmed with documentation

A virtual scribe can help you stay organized and focused on the service you render the patient in an exam room. The scribe program also allows your staff to divert their energy to the important matter in the office like being able to assist the patient and attend to their specific needs in real time without the burden of taking notes.

Virtual medical scribes are cost-effective

One of the benefits of hiring a virtual scribe is that they are often more cost-effective than hiring an in-office scribe. When you hire a virtual scribe, you don’t have to worry about the costs associated with training and retaining an in-office scribe. Needing to deal with additional payroll on top of your clinical responsibilities can be exhausting.

The scribe program also ensures that virtual scribes are also more flexible so they can work around your schedule. You can just opt to hire one during peak season and pause their services during off-season depending on the specialty of your field.

Save on costs by hiring a virtual scribe

If you are looking for a cost-effective way to prevent burnout, consider hiring virtual medical scribes. A scribe can take on many of the tasks that can be done remotely, allowing you to concentrate on what’s important – providing quality medical care to your patients.

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Improve your work-life balance

One of the benefits of having a scribe is that it can help improve your work-life balance. Having a scribe can take on many of the documentation work, you and your staff can have the time to unwind after work. You and your staff will finally have time to spend with family and friends when you no longer have work long hours at the office.

Enjoy your life now

Having someone else handle the documentation for you can help reduce stress and anxiety among your staff which can promote a healthier workplace environment. When your workplace is conducive to enhancing productivity, you can concentrate on delivering quality medical care and improving your services without having to worry about the administrative side of things.

There are a few things you can do to help prevent burnout and one of them is to make sure you take some time to relax after a long day. Some ways to unwind include:

Taking a hot bath

Adding some lavender oil or Epsom salt to your hot bath can help you relax after a long day. Taking the time to yourself to soak in a hot bath can help clear your mind and promote better sleep.

Reading your favorite book

Reading can promote relaxation by slowing down the heart rate when you to become absorbed with the plot of the story. It can help you to forget about your day-to-day stresses and focus on the story in front of you. Reading before bedtime can also help you to fall asleep more easily.

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Going for a walk

Walking can be a great way to relax and clear your mind. Taking a walk outside can help you get some fresh air and Vitamin D, which can help improve your mood. Walking also releases endorphins, which can help improve your mood and reduce stress.

Watching your favorite movie

Watching a movie can be a great way to relax and clear your mind. It can help you forget about work and delve instead on the story in front of you. Watching before bedtime can also help you to fall asleep more easily.

Spending time with friends or family

Conversations with friends and family can take your mind off work. When you are talking with other people, being aware of their many concerns can lighten your burden knowing that you are not alone in having all these stressors around you.

It can also be a great way to catch up on what’s been going on in their lives and to share your own experiences. Spending time with loved ones can also promote a better outlook in life and help you feel more refreshed.

Taking some time for yourself after a long day is important for your mental health and can help prevent burnout from happening. Make sure you schedule some time each day for you to relax and unwind so you can stay healthy and happy.

Increase your overall satisfaction with your job

Being a medical provider is a vocation. It’s not just a job, it’s a calling. One can do a lousy job in other industries without endangering other people’s lives but in the healthcare industry, your decisions may mean life or death for others.

Using a medical scribe to handle the administrative tasks allows you to focus your energy on being the best in your field not only for your career but because your patients deserve you to be at your best. When you are satisfied with your accomplishments on the field at the end of the day, you will want to be able to spend more time doing what you love in the long run – caring for your patients.

Get the satisfaction you deserve

Eventually, having someone take care of all the paperwork frees you and your staff to elevate patient care for your practice to greater heights. Gaining significant difference in your field will not only bring in more business to your office but greater satisfaction for you and your staff in the long run.

Job satisfaction has a positive influence on one’s personal life and relationships. When doctors are happy with their career choice and feel like they’re making a difference, it spills over into the rest of their lives, creating a domino effect of positivity. This also creates a warm reception for every patient which would make them think of you and your staff every time they are asked for a referral.

Being a medical provider is a way to help others and make a difference in their lives. This is why doctors chose to be one. It’s a way to use your 

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knowledge and skills to make a difference in the world. When you have a virtual scribe, you will have the time and energy to help improve the lives of others and make the world a better place.

The bottom line

No one wants to see their doctor feeling burned out and stressed, which is why using a virtual medical scribe can be such a valuable tool in preventing provider burnout. A virtual medical scribe can take on many of the administrative tasks that are currently occupying your time, allowing you to concentrate on what’s important – providing quality medical care to your patients. So if you’re looking for a way to prevent burnout as a physician, consider hiring a virtual medical scribe.