Medical scribes have helped countless medical professionals record the details of increasingly brief interactions with patients. Some scribes are present during a surgery or an appointment, but many work remotely, listening to the appointment via an audio link or watching live video. While sending post-appointment notes to a transcriber is nothing new, having a second person watching or listening during the appointment is something else entirely. Patient privacy becomes an issue because you need to reassure your patients that their privacy is being respected.
Try to Get Patient Permission Regardless of State
First, regardless of whether your state requires two-party consent or not, try to get your patients' permission before starting the appointments. Let them know that someone is listening or watching, especially if the appointment concerns looking at sensitive body parts. It may help if you can have the scribe switch from video to audio-only, as some people may be more comfortable if they can't be seen, even if they can be heard. You'll also have to think about what you'd do if a patient did not want to be observed or recorded via audio or video.
Ensure Good Computer and Data Security All-Around
It is imperative that all computer devices and peripheral accessories have very good security. Your computer, the video or audio connection, the scribe company's website, the remote scribe's computer, all of it needs to have top-notch blocks against intruders. Doesn't matter if the appointment was just taking blood pressure readings; that's patient information, and if there is a data breach that exposes it, you could face a lawsuit for allowing the connection in the first place.
Verify the Scribe Is Alone and in a Private Location
Scribes need to work in a quiet environment where others can't access the information from the appointment. When the scribe is working remotely, they need to be in a room that no one is going to walk into suddenly, and all family members and roommates need to be away from the room. Pets need to be outside as well, if they may cause noise or distract the scribe. No one else should have access to the same computer, and any written files must be locked away (not just put away; actually kept in a locked drawer or file cabinet).
Remote medical scribes make the record-keeping process more efficient. If you want to start using scribes, ensure patient confidentiality is not going to be an issue.Share
12 January 2023
I was always very healthy throughout my childhood, but when I became a teenager, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness. Thankfully, I had the support of my loving family to help keep me upbeat during a time that could have led to me experiencing the depression that some do after they first learn they will have an illness for life. I am very grateful for the advice I have gotten throughout my life, so I decided to create a blog where I can share all of the advice that has helped me live a happy, healthy life, despite having a chronic illness. Since I am on a medication that suppresses my immune system, I have also studied up on many other illnesses and tips for avoiding them and treating them. I plan to post health tips for people of a variety of ages and suffering with various illnesses!