When most twenty-somethings are about to graduate from college, they spend the majority of their time job hunting. Once they ultimately (phew) land one, they get right to work on establishing themselves in their careers. For pre-med students, their story is a bit different. Most of these students spend their time searching for locations to take the MCATs, waiting on a medical school acceptance letter and then, hopefully, beginning medical school the following year. In case you didn't catch that, that's correct: most pre-med students are stuck waiting an entire year to begin medical school. What can they do in the meantime? Take an unrelated 9-5 job? An unpaid medical internship? Bartending? It's obvious that there haven't been a lot of options for these in-betweeners until now.
Meet Lauren Hartigan, COO of Scribe Partners. Lauren herself was once a pre-med student and noticed this glaring issue once she graduated from school. This student turned entrepreneur knew that there was a better solution and instead of wishing for one, did something about it.
To learn a little more about Lauren Hartigan, check out what she had to say when we interviewed her!
Tell Us About your Company
Scribe Partners trains pre-med and medical (MD, NP, PA, RN) students about Patient Note Creation. Following educational training taught by Scribe Partners' certified staff, students are assigned to physicians to assist them with documenting patient visits as economically and as efficiently as possible following all major CPT and ICD-9 rules and regulations. Essentially, these "scribes" will have the opportunity to continue their education and preparation for medical school while enhancing the lives of the physicians by improving quality-of-care for their patients while saving them time and money.
What was your background prior to starting Scribe Partners?
Prior to Scribe Partners I was involved in a pre-medical graduate program at Cornell University. During my college career I was a highly involved pre-medical student. I shadowed and interned with many providers from various specialists as well as volunteered my summers at local hospitals. However, it wasn't until an advisor at Cornell introduced me to the medical scribe opportunities in Califorinia and Texas that I started to think about scribe opportunities in New England. Through my research I discovered that, even though Boston is the hub of healthcare on the East Coast, the idea of medical scribes had not taken off yet. Therefore, as soon as I graduated I joined forces wth a chart auditing company, who was willing to fund my idea, and we started Scribe Partners of New England. Today we have over 50 students placed at provider's offices all across New England since June 2014.
What was the tipping point that led you to entrepreneurship?
As a pre-medical student graduating from Cornell University and Providence College with future aspirations of becoming a physician, I knew I wanted to take a year to really explore the medical field before I applied to medical school. I wanted an opportunity to get as close as possible to a hands on experience with the physician to truly immerse myself in the medical field. Before graduating, I had heard of job opportunities in California and Texas for medical scribes. A Medical scribe, I was told, is someone who works directly with the physician to help them write their notes as well as assists in other daily tasks in the office. I thought to myself, "this is a great idea!", however I don't want to go to California or Texas. I then thought to myself, "what a great opportunity this would be if I could bring this experience to the Boston area!" and thus Scribe Partners was born!!
What roadblocks did you overcome to reach the point that you are at today?
One of the most difficult parts of running Scribe Partners has been spreading the word about how great this opportunity can be for both the providers and the students. Where the students see a rare opportunity in New England to have an unheard of, behind the scenes experience before medical school, the providers see a possible risk on disrupting their daily work flow and a pathway to the danger of incorrect documentation. What we have found however is that this has not been the case and in fact we have polled quite the opposite results. Overwhelmingly, our studies show that the medical scribes truly do help increase productivity and assist in better documentation.
What we strive to do at Scribe Partners is market the facts. Scribes have truly been successful already in California and Texas and there is no reason it couldn't take off here in Boston, the hub of healthcare on the East Coast. Scribes truly make provider's days easier by increasing productivity and efficiency. They ultimately help the provider get away from the computer and get back to face time with their patients. Going forward, we are looking to continue to spread the word and help prove how helpful medical scribes truly can be.
How would you define success in terms of entrepreneurship?
Success to me is never giving up even when you are ahead. There is always room for growth and improvement in the health care field. Success for me and this company would be to continue to spread this opportunity for both providers and student scribes all across New England. In many ways I see it as a way to create better and more competent providers for tomorrow. I feel this opportunity almost reflects an opportunity for apprenticeship for future doctors, NPs, RNs, PAs and Nurses. There is so little that pre-medical students can do before medical school that would give them the opportunity to truly immerse themselves in the lives of the providers. I feel this is as close as we can get without actually becoming a provider and I hope that it will give all of these students a much more powerful idea of what becoming a provider and caring for a patient truly can mean.
What are your plans for the future?
My current plans for the future are to continue to spread the word about Scribe Partners all across New England. When it takes off, down the road, I would ultimately like to spread it to the Mid West.
Do you have any advice for up and coming entrepreneurs?
My advice for up and coming entrepreneurs is never say never. I started out in school as political science major then switched to Biology and here I am today a business owner and entrepreneur in the health care industry. If you believe in something and truly can find a "need" for your idea in the business world - you will never regret taking a shot at it. There is no need to stick to the cookie-cutter jobs if you do not want to. You only have one life to live - make the most of it.
Find out how you can become a scribe by visiting the Scribe Partners Website today!