Numerous AMA studies confirm non-patient care duties, especially the administrative burdens associated with EHR documentation, have led to Physician Burnout, driving high turnover rates and suicide rates twice the national average. Many provider organizations are looking to heavily promoted AI tools as the answer, even though there’s no evidence those offerings deliver any measurable impact on Physician Wellness. In contrast, multiple AMA Practice Transformation Initiative studies confirm that Virtual Scribes deliver significant positive gains for Physician Wellness in addition to notable financial benefits. For example, reducing charting and documenting time by more than an hour per day, 95%+ same day chart closures, two or more patients added within the same number of clinic hours (depending on specialty), and due to improved documentation detail and severity of illness capture, 10%+ increases in per-encounter RVU’s.
AQuity Solutions has a more than 45-years in healthcare documentation services. Initially, a dedicated transcription service under the MedQuist brand, the company grew to be the dominant industry player and evolved over the years with the integration of C-Bay Systems, the industry’s largest India-based transcription labor resource, to meet market demand for reduced costs. In 2009 the company consolidated under the M*Modal brand and extended its offering to speech understanding, computer-assisted coding, and other AI-enabled technologies. In February 2019, the M*Modal technology portion of the business and brand was acquired by 3M, and the services business was rebranded as AQuity.
AQuity pioneered virtual scribing in 2017 as the market was looking for a more scalable business model than onsite scribes. Onsite services almost exclusively employ gap year med students, so staff tenure is inherently limited to under a year, and chronic gaps in coverage are experienced as replacements are continuously recruited and brought up to speed. The AQuity Virtual Scribe business model breaks the individually dependent physician-scribe relationship in favor of an organizationally dependent model, with cross-trained staff available to step in if an individual Scribe is unavailable for a day or moves on in their career.
The virtual model also enables improved real-time access to QA support, ensuring consistency between team members and consequently, provider experiences.
Obviously, COVID accelerated the market’s acceptance of Virtual Scribes, and AQuity has seen significant growth in the past 24 months. Their other competitive advantages come from the quality of AQuity’s six-week training academy and adaptability to do more than just complete the EHR documentation. Add-on services such as pre-chart reviews, inbox sorting, and other administrative support functions often served by physician assistants truly set them apart. AQuity prepares its scribes to become valued members of the clinical support team, effectively reducing Physician Burnout while helping to improve both clinical and financial results.
The market has acknowledged the impact of those differences in the first-ever national scribing vendor competitor rankings, based on actual client experiences. Black Book Research began covering the Virtual Scribing category in 2020 and again affirmed AQuity’s dominant position in 2021. In both year’s reports, not only did AQuity rank number one over 20 industry competitors, but they were also rated number one in eleven of their eighteen client success criteria categories, finishing no lower than third in any category.
By dramatically reducing the administrative burdens inherent to EHR documentation, Virtual Scribes relieve the number one cause of Physician Burnout and enable providers to focus on patients more than computer screens. Practicing medicine is a human experience, and Physician Wellness is measurably improved when providers can directly engage with patients, face to face, throughout their encounters. AQuity’s Virtual Scribes offload the tedious yet critical documentation burden. Because that is their primary focus, they better capture the severity of illness, complicating conditions, and other details that impact ongoing care and financial results. AQuity delivers superior results by leveraging its unmatched virtual services experience and scale for remote staff training, virtual production-staff quality control, IT security, and account management.
AQuity is staking its claim as the top clinical documentation service provider in the industry. KLAS and Black Book have already recognized them as the top Transcription Service provider for several years; they doubled the size of their Coding Services operations, and now are solidly recognized amongst the leading KLAS scores there as well. By all measures, AQuity is far outpacing the competition in the fast-emerging Virtual Scribing market, enrolling as many as 100 prospective staff members into their training academy weekly to keep pace with business growth.
The company is investigating expansion into ancillary clinical documentation service sectors that complement their existing scope of offerings but are committed to staying focused on adding value where providers and organizations are feeling their greatest pain.
If there has been anything positive brought on by the global COVID pandemic, it’s the heightened attention on mental health, especially for the burdens carried by healthcare professionals who care for the rest of us. The growth and success of AQuity’s virtual scribing business is clearly tied to that global awakening. Even though the business growth has its own rewards, what is most rewarding is the impact we have on the lives of our physicians and the patients they serve. I’ve received multiple calls and emails from significant others of our providers, thanking me for giving them their partners back. Those are the rewards that mean the most to our team. Our continued success has enabled us to provide free COVID vaccines to thousands of our India staff members and their families. We’re committed to making a difference in the lives of our providers and their patients they serve. In doing so, we also make a difference in the lives of our 7,000+ global staff and their families.