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Brigham And Women's Medical Scribes Help Doctors Focus On Patient Care

BOSTON (CBS) --- Have you ever gone to see your doctor but instead of talking face-to-face, her back is to you as she types away on a computer screen?

Now, Brigham and Women's Hospital has come up with a solution in one of their clinics. It lets doctors give patients their full attention.

Robert Ayer of Walpole recently went to the Urgent Care with flu-like symptoms. But instead of the doctor having to type on a computer, or scribble away on a piece of paper in the exam room, he is relying on a scribe to take notes for him.

The scribe takes notes while the doctor and patient chat away.

Dr. Chris Baugh is the former director of the Brigham and Women's Urgent Care in Foxboro. About 3 years ago, he introduced scribes to the urgent care to document a patient's visit in real-time, allowing providers to be more efficient and maintain better eye contact with their patients.

"So I can come in and shake a hand and introduce the scribe and have a seat and really give the patient my full attention without worrying about missing a detail that I should be writing down and I fell like the connection that allows is really beneficial to the patient," Baugh says.

The scribes tend to be college graduates who want to get a little more experience in the medical field before they pursue medicine themselves. That's why Ann Norris became a scribe a year ago.

"I'm interested in going to med school so it's great experience in terms of getting to see patient interactions and what a doctor's day is like and learning a lot of medical terminology," she says.

Ayer also agrees that having scribes in the room is a great idea.

"It's more interactive with the doctor, you can talk, sit down, he's not always turning around, whatever makes it in and out quickest works for me."

Brigham and Women's is looking for other ways to incorporate scribes into their patient care. For right now, their urgent care center in Foxboro is one of the few facilities in the area that uses them.


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