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Virtual Scribing Services 2022 Virtual Scribing Services 2022
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Virtual Scribing Services 2022
An Initial Look at Outcomes Driven by Remote Scribes

author - Mac Boyter
Mac Boyter
author - Jonathan Christensen
Jonathan Christensen
author - Shawn Howell
Shawn Howell
May 24, 2022 | Read Time: 6  minutes

Since the onset of COVID-19, the adoption of virtual scribing services has accelerated among provider organizations, driven largely by the need to ease documentation burdens, alleviate physician burnout, and limit the number of staff members present during a patient examination. To help organizations understand how virtual scribes can address these challenges, this report—KLAS’ first to focus on virtual scribing services—examines the client experience of two frequently used firms and shares client recommendations.

spectrum of third party documentation solutions

AQuity Solutions and ScribeEMR Perform Similarly Overall; Client Bases Differ in Composition 

While the two firms are used by both acute and ambulatory care organizations, AQuity Solutions’ market share is more evenly split across both types of organizations, and their clients tend to be larger (76+ physicians or 201+ beds). ScribeEMR’s client base, on the other hand, includes more small ambulatory care organizations (1–75 physicians), though KLAS has validated some larger acute care clients. Clients of both firms share positive feedback about their overall experience and report good results. ScribeAmerica is another large provider of virtual scribing services. As the firm provided only a partial client list, KLAS was unable to conduct a sufficient number of interviews for client feedback to be shared in this report. The few ScribeAmerica clients validated by KLAS report highly inconsistent satisfaction and experiences.

overall performance score
respondent organization type and average size

AQuity Clients More Likely to Report Tangible Outcomes; Challenges with ScribeEMR Limit Benefits for Some Clients

KLAS asked respondents whether they have seen decreased physician burnout, an improved workflow, and improved same-day closures from using their firm. Clients describe AQuity Solutions’ services as highly effective and beneficial and are more likely than ScribeEMR clients to report achieving key outcomes. While most ScribeEMR respondents report positive outcomes, some mention that challenges with documentation accuracy and turnaround time have limited the benefits of the vendor’s services.

Other Outcomes Clients Are Achieving

Clients of both firms report the following general outcomes, listed by most frequently mentioned to least frequently mentioned:

  1. Improved physician satisfaction (i.e., improved work-life balance and quality of life)
  2. Improved patient experience (e.g., more engaging interactions, shorter wait times)
  3. Physicians catching up on documentation backlog
  4. More complete and accurate documentation that sometimes results in increased revenue
  5. Increased schedule utilization among patients, allowing physicians to see more patients per day
  6. Physicians being able to work on other tasks
percent of respondents reporting key outcomes

ScribeEMR Stands Out in Relationships; AQuity Clients Report Inconsistent Partnership & Communication

 executive involvement and strength of partnershipScribeEMR clients are satisfied with the involvement and accessibility of the firm’s executives, and this has helped cultivate a strong relationship. The firm is seen as a responsive, engaged, and flexible partner that seeks feedback regularly. Though some respondents report minor hiccups in communication, most are satisfied in this area. AQuity Solutions clients are less satisfied with their relationship with the firm. Feedback around the firm’s involvement and partnership is mixed: some clients view AQuity as a collaborative partner that provides strategic direction, while others have encountered challenges such as inconsistent lines of communication, slow problem resolution, and no notifications regarding scribe turnover and unavailability.

Best Practices from Virtual Scribing Clients

scribing services impact on documentation timeAlmost all respondents (94%) report that their firm’s services have had a positive or highly positive impact on their documentation time. A director shared, “We have learned to live in a virtual world. Patients don’t mind the service at all, and doctors love it. We train the scribes to learn their doctor’s way of doing things. We get out of the scribes what we put into them.” These services can be worthwhile to provider organizations that are looking to increase physician satisfaction and quality of life (see KLAS’ Arch Collaborative data for more information on reducing physician burnout), improve documentation accuracy and turnaround time, and reduce the number of staff members in the room during a patient examination.

However, scribe turnover, technology complications, and low-quality scribes can prevent organizations from receiving the beneficial outcomes they are hoping for. To help other organizations looking to use virtual scribing services, respondents shared the following best practices that have helped them reduce the likelihood of poor outcomes.

Promote physician ownership

Ensure physicians are committed to training scribes on their workflow and building a strong partnership.

Identify effective partnerships

Most organizations with highly satisfied physicians identify effective scribe-and-physician partnerships and then have that team work together consistently to minimize scribe rotation among physicians.

Have backup scribes

Work with the firm to ensure backup scribes are available in case primary scribes can’t log in.

Persevere through short-term language barriers

Because some virtual scribes are based overseas, organizations may have to work through initial language barriers. However, this obstacle can typically be overcome after a few weeks.

Be prepared for technology challenges

While these challenges may not frequently arise, organizations should be prepared for minor obstacles (connectivity issues, software updates, etc.) that are commonplace for any virtual services firm.

About This Report

The data in this report comes from two sources: (1) KLAS’ standard quantitative evaluation for healthcare services, and (2) supplemental questions tailored specifically for the virtual scribing services market. Interviews were conducted over the last 12 months.

Each year, KLAS interviews thousands of healthcare professionals about the IT solutions and services their organizations use. For this report, interviews were conducted over the last 18 months using KLAS’ standard quantitative evaluation for healthcare services, which is composed of 9 numeric ratings questions and 3 yes/no questions, all weighted equally. Combined, the ratings for these questions make up the overall performance score, which is measured on a 100-point scale. The questions are organized into five client experience pillars—loyalty, operations, relationship, services, and value.

customer experience pillars services

To supplement the customer satisfaction data gathered with the standard evaluation, KLAS also asked supplemental questions specific to the virtual scribing services market. Respondents were asked (1) what impact their scribing firm has had on documentation time, (2) how accurate their scribing firm’s documentation is, and (3) what outcomes they have seen from using their scribing firm.

Sample Sizes

Unless otherwise noted, sample sizes displayed throughout this report (e.g., n=16) represent the total number of unique client organizations interviewed for a given firm or service. However, it should be noted that to allow for the representation of differing perspectives within any one client organization, samples may include surveys from different individuals at the same organization. The table below shows the total number of unique organizations interviewed for each firm or service as well as the total number of individual respondents.

about this report

Some respondents choose not to answer particular questions, meaning the sample size for any given firm or service can change from question to question. When the number of unique organization responses for a particular question is less than 15, the score for that question is marked with an asterisk (*) or otherwise designated as “limited data.” If the sample size is less than 6, no score is shown. Note that when a firm has a low number of reporting sites, the possibility exists for KLAS scores to change significantly as new surveys are collected.

author - Sarah Hanson
Sarah Hanson
author - Madison Moniz
Madison Moniz
author - Robert Ellis
Project Manager
Robert Ellis
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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2024 KLAS Research, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.

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