ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The University of New Mexico Hospital is taking steps to reduce burnout among its doctors. They’ve launched a new program to help free up doctors’ time. 

“Burnout is a real issue. Post pandemic it’s been really difficult,” says Courtney Lapham-Simpson, Associate Professor for the Department of Emergency Medicine and Scribe Program Medical Director. 

The University of New Mexico Hospital says it’s trying to reduce the stress their doctors face on a daily basis with a scribe program. Medical scribes take care of a lot of the paperwork doctors deal with so they can focus on patient care. Physicians say on average they spend almost twenty minutes per patient filling out paperwork. 

“If I’m in the department and it’s very busy, I don’t even get to touch a computer for the entire 8 hours that I’m working, and then after that shift, I’m left with hours and hours of documenting,” says Lapham-Simpson. 

The program has been around for about two months in the emergency department and currently has three scribes. They go through a six-week training program. 

“When we have a scribe, it’s great. We have somebody right next to us, they’re able to write down everything, they’re able to document things as we are seeing the patient right in front of us which actually can improve patient care,” says Lapham-Simpson. 

UNMH says the program also benefits the scribes by exposing them to the field of health care. Logan Jeffers is a medical scribe at UNMH who trains new recruits. 

“We hope that this will foster an educational interest and collaboration between future health professionals in the community,” says Logan Jeffers, medical scribe. 

UNMH wants to bring the scribe program to the pediatric department and the ambulatory care center next.