Indian medics cash in as US hospitals try out virtual scribes to trim docs’ workday

Indian medics cash in as US hospitals try out virtual scribes to trim docs’ workday

  • As doctors at Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital meet with patients during their rounds, a physician listens in real-time from Mumbai or Hyderabad and transcribes relevant details directly into the patient's electronic medical record (EMR).
  • The India-based 'virtual scribe', typically a doctor who is either fresh out of medical college or has a few years of work experience, is taking over from assistants who used to accompany the doctor physically on rounds in the what is broadly defined as the medical-scribe business - one of the fastest-growing occupations in the US healthcare sector.
  • A doctor in India who is involved in the process, but did not wish to be identified, said junior doctors who sign up for this get to interact closely with physicians in the US, get acquainted with the best patient management practices, and learn how to create an accurate and complete electronic health record of a patient while getting to use sophisticated electronic health record systems.
  • While medical scribes are trained assistants who work alongside physicians to handle computer-related tasks, virtual scribes are qualified medical doctors who are better qualified to handle the task as compared to interns or temp staff who generally double up as medical scribes.
  • On the incentive for them, the spokesperson said: "They join us for an opportunity to interact closely with senior physicians, learn their best practices in managing patients, learn how to create accurate, complete and compliant electronic health records while getting hands-on experience of using sophisticated electronic health record systems.

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