Modern healthcare requires tremendous paperwork. Chances are that when you first saw a new doctor, a new dentist, or some other healthcare provider, you needed to fill out a clipboard worth of paperwork before you even laid eyes on them. Chances are that there was a computer in the room where you met with that healthcare provider. It is possible your provider spent more time looking at the computer than at you.
All this paperwork serves a purpose, but it also has a cost. The paperwork can improve your healthcare by providing a comprehensive history of your healthcare needs, but it can also detract from your healthcare when your provider spends more time attending to it than to you. It can protect both you and your provider legally, but it can also harm your provider’s wellbeing (and hence the quality of your healthcare) by over whelming your provider with an intractable mountain of paperwork that eats away at their time and sanity.
A Medical Scribe is a professional whose work aims to permit you and your provider to enjoy the benefits of modern medical paperwork without suffering the drawbacks. While a Scribe can can fill many unique roles, the more traditional and most visible role is charting. If your provider works with a Scribe who charts for them, the Scribe will often be present while your provider meets with you. The Scribe will attend to the computer, completing a chart note which thoroughly documents the discussion, findings, and plans made during your visit. You enjoy the full attention of your provider, and your provider enjoys not having hours of paperwork left to complete when they head home at the end of the day.