Digitisation of patient records: S10 Healthcare develops tool to train virtual medical scribes
04 Apr' 16

Digitisation of patient records: S10 Healthcare develops tool to train virtual medical scribes

With rising patient footfalls and mandatory digitisation of patient records in US hospitals, Chennai-based S10 Healthcare is investing in developing an internal tool to train virtual scribes.
 
Scribes are highly trained professionals who document doctor-patient interactions — such as during medical examinations — in real time using electronic medical records (EMR).
 
They handle the documentation processes, so that doctors can focus on patient care.
 

Mandatory digitisation

The S10 tool guides virtual scribes in processing such interactions. Founder Sridharar S said that since EMRs have been made mandatory in the US, doctors there are required to enter the patient data electronically, eating up face time with patients.
 
“So many of the hospitals in the US have outsourced scribing to improve efficiency,” he added. The company has invested about $2 million so far in the tool and an EMR platform. It plans to invest another $3 million for infrastructure, technology and marketing. Almost 90 per cent of the company’s revenue comes from virtual scribes.
 

Cost effectiveness

Though the company launched the system over a couple of years ago, the adaptation was low. Now it has 156 hospitals on board and 240 scribes catering to 1,300 doctors in the US.
 
Sridhar said one of the main reasons the hospitals outsource the work is the high cost and need for privacy. The company charges $1,000-2,500 per transaction, which is highly competitive compared to onsite scribes, who are typically paid $3,000. In addition, virtual scribing ensures privacy as the scribe gets to hear only the audio and cannot see the patient. One of the biggest challenges is finding the right candidates and training them, as the work involves sensitive information.
 
The market is growing and the pay is lucrative as scribes can earn ₹10,000-50,000 a month, which Sridhar says is a big draw.
 
The scribes are trained in 12 verticals for three months and are absorbed into the company. They are also given voice and behavioural training.
 
S10 expects to touch $2 million in revenue for fiscal 2015-16. Apart from the US, it plans to extend its service to West Asia, Australia and the UK during FY 2017.

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