Medical records are the lifeblood of any successful personal injury practice, as well as medical malpractice, workers compensation, and social security disability. However, medical records are often voluminous and must be carefully combed to discover relevant information, weed out duplicates, etc. Unfortunately, even highly experienced attorneys and paralegals, are not trained medical professionals. Even after countless, precious hours spent going through mountains of records, they can still miss a critical detail which might not be picked up until the files are given to the expert witness. The expert witness is then going to repeat the entire process of going through the files, increasing time and costs. How can you increase early-stage effectiveness while simultaneously decreasing expert witness bills? With chronological medical summaries provided by legal support services’ medical teams.
Preparing a medical record summary requires years of experience and training
While your attorneys and paralegals may have years of experience, they are trained in the law, not in the medical field. That’s why your expert witnesses will redo all the work your in-house team already did (and bill you for it). Legal support services offer trained and experienced medical professionals who have become experts in preparing chronological medical summaries for injury attorneys and their expert witnesses. These professionals know exactly how to read and dissect medical records and determine which records are indeed duplicates and which are actually different but nearly identical records. In addition, they have been trained by injury lawyers to know how to present the information in such a way that it is immediately useful for injury lawyers and their staff. So, not only are they intimately familiar with the medical side, but they also know the legal industry.
Medical record summaries increase efficiency
Some clients can have thousands of pages of medical records from numerous providers, each page of which could contain a critically important piece of information. Your attorneys and staff need quick and easy access to that information, both before and during the trial. Chronological medical summaries provide an efficient way for your team to manage and access clients’ medical records. Expertly prepared medical summaries will have three outputs, all of which will be extremely useful for you, your team, and your experts:
- Properly named and organized records, structured according to your needs. Each record can be separated, named as per your requirements, and organized however you like (such as in separate folders by the provider or by month, etc.);
- A chronology of all medical records, in chronological or reverse format, with date, provider, and record name/identifier (cross-referenced to the actual record); and
- A summary of key records in a table format. This table will include the date, provider, treatment(s), and key notes from the record, cross-referenced to the specific page of the medical record in question.
Armed with this type of chronological medical summary, attorneys can quickly get up to speed and easily access detailed information when required. This will be especially useful in court. In addition, expert witnesses will be able to begin their review with the chronologies and summaries, identifying only the key records they need to review, saving you time and money.
Factual with best practices built-in
Chronological medical summaries prepared by experienced medical professionals are always fact-based. Though they may understand the injury industry, they do not create documents that play up the importance of one record while downplaying the other. Instead, they repeat the facts as they are, highlight the most important records while referencing, in lesser detail, routine reports that have no bearing on the case. They do, however, keep up with the needs of injury attorneys so that the documents presented are formatted in such a way to be most useful to the attorneys and can help attorneys better tell the story of their client’s case.
Using such professionals and the legal support services company that employ them to prepare your medical summaries will make your life easier before and during the trial, will help you be a more effective advocate for your clients, reduce costs and, in the end, make everyone happy. Schedule a free consultation today!