EMR Scribes, EMR Big Brother, Right Tool for Right Job, and MU’s Affect on EMR Adoption


I’ve heard more and more people proclaiming the value of scribes with their EMR. Certainly many are leery of the costs associated with scribes, but I don’t know anyone who has tried a scribe and been disappointed with the choice.


Far too often when we’re in technology we think that we have to always look for a tech solution to the problem. It is often the case that technology will take part in some part of a solution, but far too often we try and over architect a technology solution. Instead of implementing more technology we need to implement the right technology. Often that means choosing simpler technology.


I think this is an important question. I’m sure cutting MU would cause a lot of shock waves in the industry, but I don’t know many people who would stop their EHR use because MU was gone. I don’t know many that are implementing an EHR that would stop if MU was gone. I don’t think MU will be stopped, but I still think a delay is likely.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

1 Comment

  • Regarding EMR scribes, I’e observed a number of doctors with and without scribes. A cardiac surgeon with a scribe – since the doctor has no clue what EMRs are for. For him it’s just someone taking notes for him. He needs to read them, the scribe prints them out for him. Not quite useless, but close. An orthopedic surgeon, heavily ‘invested’ in the use of the EMR, dedicated to make it work well for his patients – not using a scribe. A young, newly minted corneal specialist, both with and without a scribe. She uses the scribe in the busiest of a multi office practice, to help keep up with patient flow – but she’s actively involved in what the scribe does. Sometimes she takes over herself – because so far she’s better at the EMR then the scribe is. And in the quieter offices, no scribe – and she still does quite well getting through the appointment. BTW, both her and the orthopedic surgeon try to at least some degree to involve the patient in the EMR. And then’s an internist, who is still learning how to use an EMR – getting somewhat frustrated, but beginning to understand why it’s so important. And a hematologist, who is very capable, but hasn’t yet quite grasped just how badly he needs an EMR to finally follow trends in his patients. I’m pretty sure he’ll need a scribe when he finally gets his EMR.

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