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Understanding Medical Scribes and Digital Scribes: A Patient's Guide in Australia

Scribes can be human or digital. They can help enhance care quality through more effective and efficient documentation.

What is a Medical Scribe?

A medical scribe is a specialised professional who documents patient encounters during medical examinations. Working alongside healthcare providers, such as GPs, specialists, or nurses, they accurately record details like symptoms, medical history, examination findings, test results, and treatment plans. The main goal of a medical scribe is to reduce the administrative burden on healthcare providers, allowing them to focus more on patient care.

What is a Digital Scribe?

A digital scribe uses technology, often artificial intelligence (AI) and sophisticated software, to perform similar tasks. This can include voice recognition and AI algorithms, aiming to increase efficiency and accuracy in medical documentation. Digital scribes enable healthcare professionals to devote more time to direct patient interaction.

Use of Digital Scribes at Next Practice Deakin

In a progressive move, some clinicians at Next Practice Deakin in Australia may be trialling and using digital scribes. This innovative approach to healthcare documentation represents a significant step towards integrating advanced technology in medical practices. The use of digital scribes at Next Practice Deakin exemplifies the commitment to enhancing patient care through modern solutions, potentially setting a precedent for other healthcare facilities across Australia.

The Importance of Privacy and Data Security

Regardless of whether a human or digital scribe is employed, the confidentiality and security of your personal health information are paramount. In Australia, scribes must adhere to strict privacy laws and standards, such as the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs).

Digital scribes, though automated, are designed with robust security measures, including secure encryption and strict access controls, to protect your health information. The clinician reviews the information before entering it into your medical record.


Understanding the roles of medical and digital scribes is crucial for patients in Australia. They play a vital role in streamlining the documentation process and improving healthcare provider efficiency. The trial and use of digital scribes at Next Practice Deakin highlight an innovative approach in healthcare. Regardless of the type of scribe used, ensuring the privacy and security of patient data remains a top priority in the healthcare setting.

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