Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Jenny Kluznik


Background: The utilization of medical scribes has increased significantly in healthcare facilities over the last ten years. Medical scribes are hired to assist providers with documentation in the electronic health record (EHR). The purpose of this systematic review is to evaluate how scribes impact productivity/throughput, revenue, provider satisfaction, and patient satisfaction in healthcare.

Methods: A database search from January 2000 to May 2017 of PubMed, Google Scholar, and Academic Search Premier was done using the keywords medical scribe, scribes, and healthcare. Based on inclusion criteria, this review includes studies from 5 emergency departments, 2 primary care clinics, and 1 cardiology clinic. Also, an in-person interview was conducted with an Internal Medicine physician.

Results: Of the studies that evaluated productivity/throughput, all showed improvements with scribe intervention. Revenue was also generated by healthcare facilities using scribes. Provider satisfaction was overall positive, although documentation errors were noted. Patient surveys demonstrated predominantly positive remarks regarding medical scribes, as this allowed the provider to focus more on the patient versus a computer screen.

Conclusions: Evidence demonstrates medical scribes have improved the burdens of EHRs in emergency departments, primary care clinics, and a specialty clinic. Due to the limited number of peer-reviewed sources, further research should be done to justify the future of medical scribes. To further improve the role of scribes, recommendations have been made regarding training protocols, staffing models, patient education, and areas for future research.