Your next doctor’s visit may have an extra person in the room

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Your next doctor’s visit may include an extra person in the room.

Medical scribes take notes in the room and can help the doctor get to you quicker, helping the doctor give you more focused attention.

Cameron Smith has been a scribe for two years.

“It’s a relatively new career. I document everything [doctors and patients] talk about, every sentence, every symptom, everything has to go into the electronic medical record,” Smith said.

“We may speak in ‘English’ if you will, but we expect [the scribe] to convert that to medical jargon when they [transcribe] to the chart,” PinnacleHealth Hospital Doctor Anthony Guarracino said.

Dr. Guarracino said before scribes, doctors had to take notes while examining patients, leaving patients left to feel like the doctors didn’t care or were acting impersonally.

PinnacleHealth says it won’t cost patients more but it will help the hospital collect more from insurance with more detailed notes.

“Insurance companies require the more complex charts to have more information,” Dr. Guarracino said.

PinnacleHospital in Harrisburg hired its first scribe three years ago and now there are 50, with plans to hire even more in the Midstate.

The service is optional and private.

“We are HIPAA compliant and everything the [patient says] is just as confidential as if it was just them and the doctor in the room,” Smith said.

The end result is happier doctors and patients with less paperwork.

Becoming a medical scribe is an up-and-coming profession spreading through the Midstate.

For more information on how to become a medical scribe in the Midstate, visit

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