The Different Types of Scribes: What You Need to Know

Types of Scribes

In today’s medical field, virtual scribes are becoming increasingly popular to streamline medical practices and provide more efficient care during patient visits. Portiva’s remote medical scribe free up time for physicians, but it also ensures that medical records are completed accurately and completely. Virtual scribes come in various forms, from remote medical scribes who assist with data entry to virtual assistants who can help schedule a patient visit and other administrative work. Each type of virtual scribe has its own set of benefits and disadvantages that should be taken note of or considered when deciding to hire one. We will discuss the different types of virtual medical scribes available and their benefits and drawbacks so that you can determine what kind of decision is best suited for your facility.

Traditional in-house scribe

The traditional medical scribe is a trained professional who supports physicians in a clinical setting. This type of scribe works with the physician in real-time, accompanying them to patient encounters and assisting with medical documentation. A traditional scribe can provide valuable insight into the care process by recording vital signs, relaying information between the provider and patient, and providing additional clinical support. 

Scribes are well-versed in medical terminology, coding guidelines, and other technical aspects of health documentation. Their role is to accurately record the clinician’s dictation or history while noting lab results or imaging findings that may be important to the treatment plan. Traditional scribes are also adept at identifying potential areas of improvement during a patient visit. 

Traditional medical scribes offer various advantages over virtual counterparts; they have direct contact with providers, which allows them to more accurately capture essential details that virtual medical scribes may miss due to lack of direct interaction. Additionally, traditional scribes allow for better communication between providers and patients, as their presence gives an extra layer of trust and comfort when sharing sensitive information. 

On the other hand, hiring a traditional medical scribe can be expensive for many clinics due to high salary demands and associated costs like training and liability insurance coverage required for onsite workers. In addition, there is often a learning curve associated with onboarding new staff members; virtual medical scribes can often be more quickly trained on proper documentation processes than human counterparts since virtual systems have pre configured software options that do not need further customization or tweaking.

Remote Medical Scribes

Remote medical scribes are virtual assistants who remotely enter patient data into Electronic Health Records (EHR). This reduces the time a busy provider spends in front of a computer, allowing them to focus on providing quality care and consulting with patients. Additionally, remote medical scribes can improve coding accuracy and compliance with regulations.

These virtual assistants are responsible for entering patient data into the EHR. They typically require less specialization than remote coding specialists but more knowledge of medical terminology and abbreviations. However, these virtual assistants need access to sensitive information, which poses potential security risks, so it’s crucial to ensure proper training and safeguards have been implemented.

Overall, virtual and traditional medical scribes offer unique benefits depending on individual practice needs and goals. While virtual scribes are generally faster and cheaper than traditional ones, they lack the interpersonal touch that can make all the difference in understanding particular nuances or delicate details within a patient encounter. Orthodox medical scribes can provide invaluable insight into patient care while offering an added layer of trust between provider and patient that virtual systems cannot replicate – making them valuable resources in the exam room of any practice wishing to improve its overall service delivery experience.

There are several types of virtual scribes, each with its own benefits and disadvantages. The most common remote medical scribe services are the following: 

Virtual Assistants

Virtual assistants are remote scribes who provide administrative support for healthcare organizations. They can manage tasks such as scheduling appointments, filing paperwork, and answering questions for patients over the phone or via email. This virtual scribe can significantly reduce the time spent on mundane tasks, allowing medical staff to focus on providing care to the patient. However, virtual assistants may require additional training to provide accurate and timely support.

Medical Transcriptionists

Medical transcriptionists are virtual scribes who take dictated notes from doctors or physicians and convert them into written reports or other relevant documents. This can be a great way to streamline record keeping as it allows for quicker report turnaround times and reduces errors caused by manual transcription. On the other hand, medical transcriptionists may require more detailed training to accurately transcribe notes and understand medical terminology.

Remote medical coding specialists

These virtual assistants specialize in entering inpatient or outpatient codes into the EHR and may be employed by large healthcare companies. They usually have a higher level of expertise than other virtual scribes and can handle more complex cases. However, they cost more than different types due to their specialization. 

Remote medical administrative assistants

These virtual assistants are responsible for basic administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, filing documents, verifying insurance information, and providing patient education materials. They can be accommodating in streamlining processes within small practices but require more supervision than remote scribes with more specialized skills. 

Benefits of Virtual Scribes

Remote scribes can benefit from a variety of healthcare facilities, from small physician practices to large hospitals. Here are a few of the benefits that remote scribes can provide: 

1) Reduced paperwork – a virtual medical scribe can help reduce the amount of time physicians spend on paperwork and administrative tasks, freeing up their time for more patients. 

2) Improved accuracy – a virtual medical scribe can help reduce coding and documentation errors, leading to more accurate records and improved patient care.

3) Increased efficiency – a virtual scribe can help streamline processes within healthcare organizations, allowing them to provide better quality care and faster services.


Virtual scribes offer numerous benefits for healthcare organizations and can help improve efficiency and accuracy within medical practice. As you consider remote scribes, it is essential to understand the available types and weigh their pros and cons. Portiva’s remote medical scribing free up time for physicians, but it also ensures that medical records are completed accurately and completely. Portiva’s medical billing and coding services offer a unique set of advantages, such as increased efficiency, accuracy, and compliance with changing regulations. Educating yourself on remote scribes can help ensure that you make the best possible decision for your facility and ultimately provide better care for your patients. 

A virtual medical scribe can provide an excellent resource for any healthcare setting wishing to improve its overall service delivery experience. Depending on your organization’s needs, virtual assistants, medical transcriptionists, remote coding specialists, and administrative assistants are just some virtual medical scribe services. Each type has its own benefits and disadvantages that should be considered when deciding.

Ultimately, virtual medical scribing offers numerous benefits to healthcare organizations, including reduced paperwork, improved accuracy, and increased efficiency, which all lead to better patient care outcomes. With this information, you’ll have everything you need to make a significantly informed decision about virtual scribes and what they can do for your facility. 

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