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Comment & Response
August 4, 2015

Medical Scribes and Electronic Health Records—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Health Informatics, CHRISTUS Health, Dallas, Texas
JAMA. 2015;314(5):519-520. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.6952

In Reply Drs Soudi and McCague expand the implications of the rise of the medical scribe industry, focusing on unknown effects of inserting a medical scribe into the dynamics of the patient-physician relationship and the physician’s cognitive process. Their call for research to assess these unintended, undesirable effects of scribes is timely. Given the rapid rise of this industry, we add a note of urgency for the execution of such research.

Drs Sinsky and Beasley do not believe that physicians have power to affect EHR change. We disagree that physicians are powerless and have no effect on purchasing decisions. Successful physician recruitment and hospital alignment are increasingly central to hospital competitiveness, and with health systems across the nation reporting high physician dissatisfaction with EHRs, physicians unhappy with any hospital’s EHR can take their patients (and business) elsewhere. Purchasers of EHRs are listening.