Question 1: According to Merritt, Hawkins and Associates, what is the average revenue that an Orthopaedic Surgeon is expected to generate, per hour?
Answer: E. $1373 per hour ($22.89 per min).
Discussion: According to a study published by Merritt, Hawkins and Associates titled “2016 Physician Inpatient/ Outpatient Revenue Survey,” annual revenue generated by orthopaedic surgeons in 2016 was $2,746,605 per physician. Assuming 2000 hours worked per year, this amounts to $1373 per hour. Most specialties were found to have annual revenues per physician of $1m to $2m annually, or $500 to $1000 per hour. Source: https://www.merritthawkins.com/uploadedFiles/MerrittHawkins/Surveys/Merritt_Hawkins-2016_RevSurvey.pdf
Takeaway: It is efficient to delegate tasks done by physicians to non-physicians, even if non-physicians complete those tasks more slowly. Documenting medical encounters is one area where delegation has gained broad acceptance. This can be accomplished by transcription or scribing, for example.
Question 2: According to an article in the National Institutes of Health’s “Journal of Graduate Medical Education,” what is the average documented typing speed for physicians in training typing into an EHR?
Answer: E. 31 words per minute.
Discussion: 104 residents at New York Methodist Hospital participated in the study. “Participating residents typed a standard 100-word alphanumerical paragraph of a patient's medical history.” The average typing speed was categorized as “slow.” Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3963776
Takeaway: Typing is a relatively slow method for documenting patient encounters. Other methods such as transcription and scribing likely require less time. An NIH-funded study conducted by ZyDoc showed that “dictation is 61% more efficient than conventional EHR data entry.” Source: http://www.zydoc.com/news-release-nih-funded-study-shows-improved-ehr-usability
Question 3: According to Medical Economics, doctors are spending what percentage of their day working on documentation in an EHR?
Answer: E. 33%.
Discussion: An article in Medical Economics stated, “According to a Northwestern University study, physicians with EHRs in their exam rooms spend one-third of their time looking at computer screens…” This is more time than physicians spent on documentation before they used EHRs. Source: http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/its-time-get-doctors-out-ehr-data-entry?cfcache=true
Takeaway: As suggested by the first question, the cost of 33% of a physician’s time is tremendous. Other documentation methods such as transcription and scribing can reduce that figure and its cost.
Question 4: According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics, the average medical transcriptionist is paid how much per hour?
Answer: E. $17.17 (29 cents/min).
Discussion: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016 median pay for transcriptionists was $35,720 per year, or $17.17 per hour. SOURCE: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/mobile/medical-transcriptionists.htm
Takeaway: Although there are overhead costs associated with using a transcriptionist, it is telling that the hourly rate of transcripionists is approximately 2% of hourly revenue generated by specialty physicians according to the survey from question 1.