EHR hurdles

We blogged already this month about ICD-10, the new clinical coding paradigm with the October 31, 2013, implementation deadline. So it’s interesting to see the reaction to an article last week suggesting this deadline be pushed to 2016

While on the topic of hurdles to a more intelligent and integrated health system tied together by electronic health records (EHRs), here’s a different kind of challenge: The need for a human being to actually record clinical details in the system. An increase in “medical scribes” may help ensure the proper information is documented:

Scribes started working in fast-paced emergency departments in the mid-1990s, but hiring has picked up as more hospitals have switched to electronic records, say officials at several companies that hire and train scribes. Having scribes do most of the data entry allows the highest-paid people in the room to focus on patients and see more of them and ensure that information used in billing is complete, the companies say. It also allows doctors to make more eye contact with patients, and that makes patients happier.