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As a small regional rural health system, KVH understands the importance of providing its clinicians with the support they need to maintain quality outcomes, reduce costs, and improve the patient experience—the Triple Aim of health care. KVH also understands the importance of providing a healthy work-life balance for its clinicians by reducing administrative burdens. As part of that effort, KVH uses scribes to assist providers with documentation and entering data into the EMR.
Because of its rural location, KVH found itself struggling to recruit and retain high-performing scribes. While some were medical students from a local college, others had little to no experience in a clinical environment, which made training essential. That training, however, could take six to eight months and, in the end, wasn’t very effective in reducing high scribe turnover rates. Carrie Barr, Chief of Clinic Operations for KVH, wanted to continue offering scribes to KVH clinicians but knew she needed a different approach.
Kittitas Valley Healthcare
Situated in the heart of Washington State, Kittitas Valley Healthcare (KVH) provides patient-centered care through its hospital, clinics, and specialty services. KVH Hospital provides 24-hour emergency care and offers inpatient and outpatient hospital services.
KVH also provides care through clinics and specialty services in both Upper and Lower Kittitas County. KVH sees 400 patients per day in its clinics.
KVH chose to use virtual scribes from Augmedix. Augmedix virtual scribes are specially trained to work in both acute and non-acute environments, acting as an always-present assistant to the clinician, and converting real-time clinician-patient conversations into precise medical documentation. Augmedix virtual scribes are experienced in most EMRs, which improves accuracy, increases the quality of documentation, and ensures timely charge capture for faster reimbursement. Virtual scribes can also place orders for testing, medications, and labs to keep patients moving along the care continuum.
KVH created a unique model to begin the roll-out of virtual scribes through a “memorandum of understanding” with its clinicians. To qualify for a scribe, clinicians must become productive enough to cover the cost of the service creating a dual incentive. The system also created a workgroup to present the clinicians with the financial case around the business of healthcare to clinicians. Lightbulbs went off and this has helped them take ownership of the support. Per Barr, “From the employment side of things, it’s been so nice, we don’t want to coach someone through performance improvement.’’
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