I have been researching this lately, and if the scribes are clinically trained (i.e. a certified medical assistant) then they are capable of performing duties within their training in addition to their scribing duties. I don't see any harm in the scribe doing a little more than being a recorder. The scribes will be another component of the team paid by the physician to deliver the healthcare much like nurses, therapists, etc. Physicians are going to have to be creative in forming their team and using each component in the most productive and efficient manner if they intend to continue in private practice. Health information technology adoption will present many new issues and obstacles to manage and overcome before improving efficiency and productivity.
Tony DotsonPractice managerJeffrey W. Gefter, M.D.Chattanooga, Tenn.