On July 12, 2012, the Joint Commission released a revised FAQ on the Use of Unlicensed Persons Acting as Scribes to now permit the use of scribes by Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants. Find the updated FAQ here.
This much anticipated clarification comes as great news to groups around the country, as many midlevel providers have either used scribes prior to the release of the FAQ or have expressed their desire to add a scribe to their practice-- Now, they can. Scribes enable the provider, whether a physician or midlevel provider, to provide more focused attention to the patient and to maximize their ability to provide better overall care.
One additional update within the FAQ worth noting is with regard to order entry by scribes. The Joint Commission states that it does not support scribes being utilized to enter orders for the provider. Next week, we will address both TJC and CMS guidelines regarding the use of scribes with CPOE, with a specific focus on the proposed rules for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use. Stay tuned...
-Brittany Baine, J.D.