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Medical scribes could help improve ER care

from HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report

In this study, researchers examined the productivity of doctors, working with and without scribes, in five Australian emergency departments. The scribes were medical or pre-med students who were trained before the study and randomly assigned to doctors' routine shifts. Researchers ended up with data from 589 scribe-assisted shifts (5,098 patients) and 3,296 unassisted shifts (23,838 patients). Scribes increased the number of patients per hour for each doctor by 15.9 percent overall and 25.6 percent for primary consultations. How long patients waited to see a doctor did not change, but they spent 19 minutes less in the ED when a scribe was present. more

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