Background: Efficiency is an important aspect of endoscopic practice that has received limited study. We evaluated the impact of scribing electronic pre-procedure history and physical examinations, and electronic procedure reports on endoscopist efficiency. Methods: We used a stopwatch to measure the time between the procedures (scope out to scope in), pre-procedure patient assessment time, and procedure report generation time for 180 consecutive procedures performed by a single endoscopist with or without a scribe for recording history and physical and procedure reports. Schedulers were unaware of whether a scribe would be present. Results: Mean times for recording the pre-procedure history and physical and procedure reports were reduced by 34% (p = 0.001) and 71% (p < 0.0001), respectively, when scribes were used. The mean time saved by the endoscopist from scribing the history and the physical and procedure reports was 2.12 and 1.59 min, respectively. When both processes were scribed, the endoscopist spent 42% (p = 0.033) longer in the recovery area (absolute mean increase 1.01 min) compared with when no scribes were utilized. The total time saved per 6.5-h procedure block with both scribes averaged to 41.7 min. Conclusion: The use of scribes to record history and physical examination notes and procedure reports saved enough endoscopist time to allow additional procedures or longer procedures, or to free the time for other tasks.
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