Home Polls Role of Optometric Scribes Still Evolving

Role of Optometric Scribes Still Evolving

According to a recent WO poll, half of respondents said their office is using or considering hiring a scribe. Fifty percent say they are not using scribes at all.


Among those who reported using scribes, they are most commonly finding them in the office.

  • 52% said they hire and train known staff for the role
  • 10% hire specifically for this position
  • 29% use a mix of these strategies

Other respondents noted using techs as scribes when needed, and virtual scribes, including HelloRache, made the list.


Respondents were asked about the ideal ratio of scribes per doctor. Nearly 72% of respondents said one scribe per doctor is preferred, and 22% said they prefer two scribes per doctor.

Credit: WO

Having cross-trained technicians who can also scribe was cited as a solution by some respondents.


The role of the scribe seems fairly well defined among those who use them.

  • EHR entry (97%)
  • Preparing follow-up communications with providers (84%)
  • Follow-up calls (62%)
  • Pretesting (56%)
  • Patient handoff to optical (53%)
  • Setting up return patient appointments (47%)

Among those who use scribes, a majority (53%) have been doing so for more than five years. Others are just getting started; 15% are in the planning and training stages of getting scribes in the office, and 12% started in the past year.

Credit: WO

Almost three-quarters of respondents (72%) said they were female ODs. Another 18% were as male ODs and 10% were non-OD females. Almost two-thirds of respondents (64%) reported working in a single-location optometry practice. Almost a quarter (23%) said they work in an optometry practice with two more more locations, and 13% said they work in a small to medium ophthalmology or multispecialty practice. Corporate optometry locations and large medical clinics and hospitals were also noted.


Have a poll idea? Curious about something? Email us here.

Check out past WO polls and responses here.

Featured photo credit: Getty Images, Ekaterina Chergik

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