Medical Scribes Improve Physician Satisfaction Without Compromising Patient Care

HealthDay News — Working with a scribe significantly improves physicians’ overall satisfaction, satisfaction with chart quality and accuracy, and charting efficiency, according to a study published online in the Annals of Family Medicine.1

Risha Gidwani, DrPH, from Stanford University in California, and colleagues randomized physicians in an academic family medicine clinic to 1 week with a scribe and then 1 week without a scribe for the course of 1 year. Scribes drafted all relevant documentation, which was reviewed by a physician before attestation and signing. Physicians performed all charting duties when working without a scribe.

The researchers found that scribes significantly improved all aspects of physician satisfaction, including overall satisfaction with the clinic (odds ratio [OR], 10.75), having enough face time with patients (OR, 3.71), time spent charting (OR, 86.09), chart quality (OR, 7.25), and chart accuracy (OR, 4.61). Scribes did not affect patient satisfaction. They increased the proportion of charts closed within 48 hours (OR, 1.18; P =.028).

“Scribes appear to be a promising strategy to improve health care efficiency and reduce physician burnout,” conclude the authors.


  1. Gidwani R, Nguyen C, Kofoed A, et al. Impact of scribes on physician satisfaction, patient satisfaction, and charting efficiency: a randomized controlled trial. Ann Fam Med. 2017; 15(5): 427-433.