What is a Medical Telescribe and How is the Role Changing in 2024?

You're a busy clinician (and who isn’t?) who wants to focus on patient care, not paperwork. Yet spending hours charting and documenting inevitably pries you away from patients. 

You've heard about medical telescribes who can remotely take notes and complete EHR charts for you. But are human telescribes really the best solution in 2024? 

With advances in Artificial Intelligence, there may be a few surprises to consider before you go all-in on a telescribe. 

In this article, we’ll cover: 

Let’s get started! 

Why do clinicians use medical telescribes?

Many doctors use virtual medical telescribes to offload time-consuming charting and EHR documentation.

Here’s what they get out of it:

What are the downsides of a medical telescribe?

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, though. There are some downsides to hiring a telescribe. 

Let’s take a look: 

Emerging alternatives to medical telescribes in 2024

While medical telescribes have traditionally dealt with medical documentation, emerging technologies are already providing viable alternatives.

Let’s go in deeper: 

AI scribes: Cost savings without the downsides

Using software instead of people to handle routine documentation and charting tasks significantly reduces costs. 

How? AI scribes charge a flat monthly or annual subscription fee, rather than an hourly rate – this can lead to huge savings down the line. We’re talking thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. 

Then, with virtual scribes, there are no concerns about sensitive patient data being accessed or transmitted improperly. Most high-end AI scribes integrate directly with the EHR and follow the same strict compliance protocols as physicians.

Also, physicians can get through more patients in less time with an AI scribe. They don’t have to pause to dictate notes or wait for a human scribe. 

Since the AI works as fast as the physician needs to go, it can help them win back as much as 2 hours per day. 

Of course, AI scribes are still software, so they do need a bit of an initial investment of time to implement and for physicians to become comfortable with the new technology.

Can an AI scribe really replace a medical telescribe?

AI scribes are trained using massive amounts of data to understand medical terminology, diagnose codes, and common workflows.

Some AI scribes can handle basic documentation and charting tasks, and the best of the bunch can handle even more complex tasks that only humans could do a year or two ago. 

Also, AI scribes are getting smarter and expanding their capabilities at an accelerated rate; at this point, many telescribes are finding it hard to match their accuracy and reliability.

However, human telescribes understand context and nuance in a way that’s still hard for most AI systems to replicate. 

They can ask clarifying questions, rephrase physicians' statements for clarity, and handle exceptions or non-standard situations more easily. 

Telescribes also build relationships and familiarity with providers over time, learning individual styles, preferences, and workflows.

Note, though, that the best AI systems are also fast making tremendous strides in those fields as well. 

But, for high-volume, routine documentation, AI scribes can already exceed human telescribes in both cost-cutting and quality. 

But in complex cases, especially those involving sensitive patient issues, human insight and empathy remain a tremendous, intangible asset. 

Right now, rather than replacing telescribes outright, AI is more likely to augment human work in an emerging collaborative landscape.

All in all, while new technologies often spark fears of job loss, the role of medical telescribes is likely to evolve rather than disappear. 

Best practices for using an AI scribe

Using an AI scribe effectively requires a bit of an adjustment period. 

Here are a few tips to get the most out of your new digital assistant:

Summing up

While human telescribes still have a place in healthcare, AI-powered solutions are quickly rising as a preferred alternative for their accuracy, cost-effectiveness, and security.

One thing’s for sure: As tech continues advancing, it seems inevitable that AI and collaborative solutions will become the new normal. 

For now, it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons and choose what's best for your unique needs!

Next steps

Looking to elevate your clinic's operations with cutting-edge AI? Lindy's advanced AI technology surpasses traditional medical telescribes, offering unparalleled efficiency.

But don't just take our word for it. Sign up for Lindy's 7-day trial with unlimited usage during the trial period and join the thousands of healthcare professionals!

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