BREAKING NEWS: ACCIM Endorses The Joint Commission's REVISED Standards on Medical Scribe's Roles and Usage

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Medical Scribes are Pivotal to the Growth and Efficiencies Surrounding Healthcare Reform

"Advancing Healthcare Clinical Information Management"

We are all excited about The Joint Commission's decision. Ultimately their position will improve patient care and experience with their provider, which is what matters the most!

The Joint Commission (TJC) today released revised rules regarding Medical Scribes. ACCIM fully supports the new standards and believes they will dramatically increase usage and further define the Medical Scribe’s role in healthcare documentation.

The main points of TJC's revised rules include:

  • Accepting the usage of Medical Scribes for Physician Assistant's documentation needs
  • Medical Scribes limitation on entering Computerized Physician Order Entries (CPOE)

ACCIM fully supports and agrees with both of these additions. "The usage of Medical Scribes for Physician Assistants is exceptional news. This expansion encourages the use of Medical Scribes at all levels and furthers the advancement of this growing profession. The efficiencies of a Medical Scribe should not be limited to any licensed practitioner. Healthcare is at a critical juncture in time where quality trained Medical Scribes are inputting data into Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems and enabling increased physician and practitioner productivity," states Kristin Hagen, ACCIM Executive Director.

ACCIM also agrees with discouraging the use of Medical Scribes for Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) input. "This is not in the Medical Scribe's scope of practice; this is the responsibility of the ordering licensed physician or practitioner," Hagen states.

"We are all excited about The Joint Commission's decision. Ultimately their position will improve patient care and experience with their clinical provider, which is what matters the most!" states Michael Murphy, MD, ACCIM President.

Please see excerpt from The Joint Commission's newly released and revised standards regarding Medical Scribe's usage and roles:

Q. What is a scribe and how are they used?

A. A scribe is an unlicensed person hired to enter information into the electronic medical record (EMR) or chart at the direction of a physician or practitioner (Licensed Independent Practitioner, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse or Physician Assistant). It is the Joint Commission’s stand that the scribe does not and may not act independently but can document the previously determined physician’s or practitioner’s dictation and/or activities.

Scribes also assist the practitioners listed above in navigating the EMR and in locating information such as test results and lab results. They can support work flow and documentation for medical record coding.

Scribes are used most frequently, but not exclusively, in emergency departments where they accompany the physician or practitioner and record information into the medical record, with the goal of allowing the physician or practitioner to spend more time with the patient and have accurate documentation. Scribes are sometimes used in other areas of the hospital or ambulatory facility. They can be employed by the healthcare organization, the physician or practitioner or be a contracted service.

Q. Can scribes enter orders for physicians and practitioners?

A. The Joint Commission does not support scribes being utilized to enter orders for physicians or practitioners due to the additional risk added to the process.

The full standard regarding the usage of Medical Scribes may be viewed directly from The Joint Commission’s website:    


The American College of Clinical Information Managers (ACCIM) upholds the standards of excellence for accreditation, training, certification, and evaluation of Medical Scribes to enable a fully-credentialed workforce. ACCIM is the only governing body representing 3000+ Medical Scribes and 300+ hospitals nationwide. After gaining membership into ACCIM with minimum 100 hour clinician-scribe documentation, our members can obtain professional certification as a Clinical Information Manager (CIM) via the Clinical Information Manager Certification and Aptitude Test (CIMCAT). To learn more about ACCIM, please visit:

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Kristin Hagen, Executive Director, CPEHR, CPHIE, CPHIT
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