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Electronic medical records systems create need for scribes to input data

The rise in electronic medical records has given Brittany Fera, a premed student at Temple University, an “awesome” job that she had no idea existed before she saw an ad last year.

It’s not the geeky programming kind of job you might guess.

The new record-keeping systems, which are touted as a way to improve efficiency and quality, slow down emergency medicine physicians so much that the doctors are hiring young people like Fera to input data for them. They call this growing group of employees “medical scribes.”

The pay isn’t great - around $8 to $12 an hour - but the experience for students with an interest in medical professions is hard to beat.

“I almost didn’t believe it when I heard that I got to follow a doctor and go into every room,” said Fera, a 21-year-old Gloucester County native who works as a scribe in the emergency departments in Virtua hospitals in Voorhees and Marlton.

“You get exposed to things that you otherwise would never be exposed to.”

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