Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 33, Issue 11, pp 1859–1861 | Cite as

Patient Perspectives on Clinical Scribes in Primary Care

  • Chen Yan
  • Susannah Rose
  • Michael Rothberg
  • Mary Beth Mercer
  • Kenneth Goodman
  • Anita D. Misra-HebertEmail author
Concise Research Reports


Clinical scribes who are medical assistants or nurses may not only relieve the increased administrative burdens electronic health records place on primary care physicians but also bring benefits1, 2 in documentation quality, patient care, and team dynamics3. In our previous qualitative study, patients associated clinical scribes with improved documentation quality and increased attention from their physicians 3. While most were comfortable with the clinical scribe’s presence, a few alluded to situations in which they would be uncomfortable 3. Thus, to describe quantitatively patient opinions, we surveyed patients about their perspectives regarding clinical scribes in primary care.


A 16-item questionnaire was developed iteratively with expert oversight from a committee of practicing physicians and health system researchers. This questionnaire was pilot tested with 10 patients. Data from pilot testing were not included in the final analysis. Based on patient...


primary care primary care redesign doctor-patient relationships 



Dr. Misra-Hebert receives funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality grant no. K08HS024128.


This study was approved by the Cleveland Clinic Institutional Review Board.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they do not have a conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Arndt BG, Beasley JW, Watkinson MD, et al. Tethered to the EHR: Primary Care Physician Workload Assessment Using EHR Event Log Data and Time-Motion Observations. Ann Fam Med. 2017;15(5):419–426. Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bodenheimer T, Willard-Grace R, Ghorob A. Expanding the Roles of Medical Assistants: Who Does What in Primary Care. JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(7):1025–1026. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
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    Yan C, Rose S, Rothberg MB, Mercer MB, Goodman K, Misra-Hebert AD. Physician, Scribe, and Patient Perspectives on Clinical Scribes in Primary Care. J Gen Intern Med. 2016. Scholar
  4. 4.
    Koshy S, Feustel PJ, Hong M, Kogan BA. Scribes in an Ambulatory Urology Practice: Patient and Physician Satisfaction. J Urol. 2010;184(1):258–262. Scholar

Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chen Yan
    • 1
  • Susannah Rose
    • 2
  • Michael Rothberg
    • 3
  • Mary Beth Mercer
    • 2
  • Kenneth Goodman
    • 4
  • Anita D. Misra-Hebert
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Residency, Department of Neurology, Neurological InstituteCleveland ClinicClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Office of Patient ExperienceCleveland ClinicClevelandUSA
  3. 3.Center for Value-Based Care Research, Medicine Institute Cleveland ClinicClevelandUSA
  4. 4.Department of Family MedicineCleveland ClinicBeachwoodUSA

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