The job of a lawyer is quite challenging owing to conducting in-depth case research, keeping compliance with multiple legal laws, doing trial preparation, and more. Out of this, case research consumes the maximum time of the lawyers, especially when it comes to reviewing the medical records.
These records cover deep analysis of the medical history of patients, including information regarding treatments, tests, etc., and hold immense importance for lawyers since they enable them to understand the case profoundly.
Defining Medical Record Review & Analysis
Medical record review and analysis is nothing but evaluating the patient’s healthcare information. For this, a lawyer finds, reviews, interprets, and analyzes the facts and figures mentioned in a medical record. Medical record analysis and review services are not only helpful for lawyers only but legal nurse consultants, medico-legal case review firms, insurance staff, and plaintiffs as well.
The medical record review and analysis process include:
- Collecting and arranging medical records
- Finding out about misplaced records
- Discussing with healthcare providers
- Recognizing aspects that lead to alleged injuries or damages
- Making summarized written reports
- Assessing and comparing reports of the witnesses
- Making events’ chronology
Importance of Medical Records Reviewing for Lawyers
Medical record reviewing holds immense importance for lawyers involved in product liability/personal injury cases since it helps them in understanding the case details and getting prepared for the trail. Now, there are 2 ways for this; either law firms can do it in-house or outsource the same to experts. Let’s discuss both the methods in detail below.
Medical Record Review: In-House vs. Outsource
In-House Medical Record Reviewing
In this, the in-house team of a law firm records, collects, and processes the medical records.
Greater Access: It is always easy to communicate with an in-house team, discuss problems and look for solutions, manage the medical record review process, and more.
Better Control: When you have an in-house medical record review team, your employees are accountable to you, which, in turn, make them more responsive. This means you can control their efforts and time in a better way.
Best Use of Resources: If a law firm has already invested in its medical record team and resources that it provides to the employees, it need not look for any external help and can make the best use of its resources without incurring any additional cost.
Outdated Approach: Every law firm has the prime aim of preparing for the trial better and not managing the medical records. Lawyers have little to no time in researching about the best practices or technology to speed up this process. This is the reason most of the law firms still rely on the outdated approach of collecting information in-person, sending faxes for collecting information, and more.
Lack of Skills: Most of the paralegal and other staff of law firms do not have the right skills and knowledge for understanding the complexities involved around medical records, standard medical practices, and medical terminology.
Time-Consuming: Since medical records come in huge volume, not having the right skills and knowledge make it even more complex to understand, which, in turn, consumes a substantial amount of time and delays trial preparation.
Unwanted Expense: Law firms need not have a fully functional medical record review team since it comes with unwanted expenses of hiring a paralegal staff to collect and abstract records, monitor and review them, provide additional benefits like insurance, paid leaves, etc., along with investing in infrastructure and technology from time to time.
Outsourcing Medical Record Reviewing
In this, a team of outsourcing experts records, collects, and processes the medical records.
Skilled & Experienced Team: The team of outsourcing experts is highly skilled and experienced. The providers of outsourcing litigation services employ individuals who have a previous history of working with medical institutions and are familiar with medical terminology. Also, they have vast experience in handling multiple cases of similar types and hold great expertise in the same.
Time-Saving: When such a highly skilled and experienced medical record review team will look after your project, it will help in saving time, speeding up the process, and your trial preparation eventually.
Cost-Saving: You get to save considerably on the salaries, perks, and other benefits of your medical record review team, along with eliminating costs associated with investing in infrastructure and technology.
Enhanced Efficiency: The outsourcing specialists are familiar with the complexities involved around medical records/terminology and interpret them in an easy-to-understand language. This helps enhance the efficiency of lawyers in getting prepared for the trial.
Better Organizational Skills: Due to the huge experience of the outsourcing experts, they know exactly how to arrange the relevant and important information in a chronological format, along with providing links to the original information source.
Uncovers Missing Information Easily: Most of the medical records have missing information, and it is extremely tough for legal firms to understand the missing information and its relevance to the case. Outsourcing experts are aware of the same due to their industry knowledge and quickly obtain the missing information from the patient or healthcare organization.
Enhanced Data Security: Data security of medical records is crucial, along with keeping compliance with HIPAA considerations. Top providers of litigation support services have one of the best data security infrastructures and robust tools/protocols for data confidentiality and data security, ensuring unmatched data security.
Complete Transparency: Outsourcing experts provide you with complete transparency of prices and estimated time needed for the completion of a project by indexing the medical records in the first place itself.
Multiple Expertise: The team of outsourcing experts is capable of handling medical records for various types of cases like medical negligence/malpractice, personal injury, disability, workers’ compensation, product liability, mass tort, and class actions.
Inflexibility: Small outsourcing firms that have few experts at hand fail to provide flexibility in their services. This is since their limited experts handle multiple projects at the same time and do not have time to offer customized solutions. However, this is not the case with renowned and top outsourcing firms since they have a lot of experts to handle client projects and can cater to the individual needs of every client.
No Physical Access/Control: With outsourcing, you do not have physical access to the team and cannot communicate or control them like your in-house employees. But, this is also not a concern since most of the outsourcing firms provide round-the-clock support to their clients and they can convey their concerns to their project managers instantly and get things sorted out at the earliest, just like their office premises.
In-house and outsourcing medical record reviewing have their own pros and cons. However, if we compare the two, then surely the outsourcing option emerges at the top. This is due to the fact that it not only helps lawyers save on cost and time but also benefits them from the additional expertise that comes along with the outsourcing professionals, helping them with trial preparation immensely.
If you are also looking for a renowned outsourcing firm for managing your medical record review process or other legal processes, you may join hands with Cogneesol. It is a 12-year old outsourcing firm that has been providing unmatched litigation support services to multiple lawyers and law firms worldwide. Start your free trial by getting in touch today itself!
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