The ultimate guide towards medical scribing as a career

Team ScribeEMR  |  10/03/2023


The medical industry has undergone a shift over the last decade, and for good reason. Previously, manual documentation was the order of the day – but today, this has been replaced with electronic health records (EHR). This spells good news, particularly keeping in mind the efficiency and accuracy. But this also means that all the records about the patient and their treatment must be correctly documented; that's exactly where medical scribes step into the picture.

Before we tell you all about medical scribing, let's first understand who a medical scribe is. 

Understanding the role of a medical scribe 

Make a visit to any doctor's clinic and you will witness a swarm of patients who have to be attended to. This leaves doctors with little to no time to document everything about the patient – from their diagnosis to treatment. That's why they hire medical scribes, who serve as their assistants and document everything relevant about the patients. 

Medical scribes are aware of medical terminologies, which is why they are adept at finding any errors. In case they come across inconsistencies, the issue is resolved with the help of a doctor. What's important to understand is that the medical scribe helps in documenting all the information – they are not decision-makers when it comes to patient care and treatment. 

Typically, a quality assurance specialist monitors the work of a medical scribe. All in all, a medical scribe ensures that all the information about patients is fed into the database minus any errors, so that the doctor can focus on the patient's treatment. 

Where are medical scribes hired?

As mentioned above, medical scribes work with doctors – be it in hospitals, private clinics, or even remotely. While error-free documentation is the primary role of this individual – in certain cases, he/she may also schedule appointments or procure lab reports for a doctor to analyze. 

Doctors can also hire medical scribes remotely – in such cases, communication happens either via video or audio calls. The calls happen in confidentiality, since critical information about a patient is discussed.

How can one become a medical scribe?

In case you have a keen interest in becoming a medical scribe, it’s not difficult. There are certain steps that must be followed to get hired by a medical agency or organization/doctor.

1. Get a degree 

a) MBBS/BDS/B Pharma/BAMS/BHMS/BSc. Nursing/BSc. Biotech and all other life science graduates.
b) Experienced medical transcriptionists (preferably life science background) with a minimum of 5 years of medical transcription experience.
c) Any sort of medical background or experience working in the healthcare industry.

2. Complete a certification 

If you do not have above mentioned degree, it’s important that you go for a certification that acquaints you with common medical terminologies and typing. These courses go on for four to six months and focus on improving your verbal and written communication.

3. Gain on-ground experience

While having strong basics is a plus, it’s always essential to gain on-ground experience. Try and work as an office assistant, transcriber, or even as a customer service specialist, so that you are aware of the work environment as well as the challenges that are part of the role. This can also work as a differentiator, when an employer has a long list of applications from several candidates.

What are some of the other skills that a medical scribe must have?

Apart from the above-mentioned details, it is also important that medical scribes have good comprehension and listening skills, computer skills, and ensure attention to detail. 

Listening and comprehension skills: There is nothing more critical than this skill, because a medical scribe has to consistently listen to the information communicated by a doctor and document it without any errors. 

Attention to detail: This is equally essential, because it is the medical scribe who feeds all the information about a patient into the database. Being aware and articulate helps these professionals spot any errors, ensuring minimal disruption in services. 

Computer skills: Since most of their role requires them to document information, and with much speed, they must know how to type well and enter data correctly. All in all, computer skills are important for a medical scribe to understand and record information in an accurate manner. 

Awareness of medical terminologies: Although most of the information that is recorded by a medical scribe is communicated to them by the doctor, it is still important that they understand all the terminologies properly. If they are aware of all the terms, they will be able to reduce the occurrence of errors. 

Lastly, having good time management skills and being motivated, will help medical scribes stay ahead of the curve. 

Become a medical scribe 

ScribeEMR provides telemedicine, medical scribe, and virtual assistant services to healthcare providers across the country. They assign a dedicated, expert medical scribe to solely work for a specific provider, delivering high-quality medical charts, that match their charting style. All the charts are completed and signed by the end of the day. 

Our medical scribes are rigorously trained on 40+ EMR systems, covering every aspect of clinical documentation, including managing lab orders, diagnostics studies, prescriptions, and referrals. ScribeEMR complies with all HIPAA rules. 

You, too, can become a part of this exciting industry. Join us today!