09 Jun Tips for Keeping Case Medical Records Organized at Your Law Firm
The sheer amount of medical records available at a law firm for court cases can get extensive and rather complex. As such, organizing medical records at a law firm is necessary to keep your court case moving forward effectively and avoid any mistakes.
If you’re having trouble managing many medical documents at your law firm, you’ve come to the right place. Below, you will learn the best nine tips for organizing your medical records. Now, let’s get started.
Why Organizing Medical Records at a Law Firm Is Essential
As more Americans age and require healthcare, organizing and retrieving medical records at a law firm has become more important than ever.
Medical record organization is vital for any law firm since it will improve your ability to win your court case. At American Retrieval, we provide services that will enhance the organization of medical records. For example, our services include sharable and searchable records with bookmarks, annotations, redactions, and highlighting abilities.
With our help, the records will be stored continuously on HIPAA-compliant and secure servers.
Nine Tips for Organizing Case Medical Records at a Law Firm
Our top nine tips for organizing medical records at a law firm are the following.
- Interview the client
- Separate requests for billing and medical records
- Obtain the pharmacy billing record before and after the incident in the case
- Request to have many pages arranged and sent in chronological order
- Request double-sided copies of documentation
- Obtain all documents from many healthcare providers
- Determine what care independent contractors provide
- Use all medical records as reference material
- Request documentation before and after the legal incident
Interview the Client
You will need to interview the client to gain a full medical history. The medical history needs as many details and examples as possible. Further, you also need to request any billing records the client may have. You should then copy and retain billing records since that information should have contact details for each healthcare provider.
Ensure you have complete honesty and accuracy from the client during the interview as this information must not be imprecise.
Separate Requests Needed for Billing and Medical Records
Since billing records and medical records are not always kept in the same place, you will need to file separate requests for both the billing documentation and the actual medical records. That will keep the court case moving quickly and smoothly without any interruptions.
Find the Pharmacy Billing Records Before and After the Legal Incident
You will need pharmacy billing records before and after the alleged legal incident that your client underwent. Ask your client to bring these records to the first interview you conduct with them.
That information will give lawyers an idea of the medical care before and after the legal incident occurred. It also provides data on prescribing medical providers and documented prescribed medication.
Request to Have Multiple Pages Arranged in Order
You will find that most medical records including nursing information are many pages with signatures and dates outlined on only one page. As such, you will need to request these multiple pages be arranged in chronological order and stapled in an organized manner. Doing so will help establish times, dates, and healthcare providers in an accurate order.
Request Double-Sided Copies of Documentation
You will find treatment documentation and medication information available on double-sided pages. Signatures and initials are often located on the opposite side of each page. Single-sided pages should be stapled together in order.
However, it would benefit you to request double-sided copies. The information in these documents could end up essential for your court case.
Obtain All Relevant Documents From Many Clinics and Healthcare Services
Your clients may have many different healthcare providers at any one time. As such, you will need to have your client fill out multiple releases of information documents from all of their healthcare providers and clinics. This can include emergency rooms, ambulances, nursing homes, urgent care centers, and more.
A release of information outlines who has access to the information, for how long the information can get issuance, and the guidelines under which the information is released.
Establish What Care Independent Contractors Provide
You will find that various healthcare providers, ranging from ambulatory care clinics and ambulances to physical therapy offices and emergency rooms, consist of independent contractors. Find out from the hospitals or medical establishments what type of healthcare the independent contractors provided to your client.
Doing so will help you determine where to go for medical record requests and enable you to get the entire medical history of your client.
Obtain All Available Medical Records As Reference Material
All available medical records that you have gathered may not be relevant to every part of the court case. Plenty of materials may not play a role in the alleged legal incident and won’t need medical review. However, you should still obtain all relevant medical record materials.
You should still use the information from the entirety of the medical record as reference material.
Request Documentation Before and After the Alleged Legal Incident
You will need all the information and medical records before and after the alleged incident. These records are vital for understanding your client’s medical condition, how extensive the client’s injuries are, and any possible risk of long-term complications from the injuries.
FAQs About Organizing Medical Records at a Law Firm
We have answered some of the key questions about organizing medical records at law firms.
What is the best way to organize medical records?
You can organize and index medical records based on client names or assigned case numbers. You will need expanding file pockets, manila folders, and a pressboard folder or a case binder to manage many pages. You may also need to budget for new storage equipment. Utilize the physical storage space you have available.
What are the key steps for filing medical records?
The five steps for filing medical records include:
- Investing in a needs assessment
- Examining your storage space
- Creating a retention schedule
- Keeping paper documents safe and secure
- Producing an emergency plan in case of a potential data breach or other risks
What is the “golden rule” of documentation in a medical record?
The golden rule in the realm of medical record documentation is: “If it’s not documented, it did not happen.” Therefore, legal professionals should meet all requirements and keep track of their documentation to improve the chances of successful litigation.
How can lawyers prevent medical record retrieval delays?
With the right medical record retrieval services from experts, you can prevent retrieval delays. We embrace the client portal to offer more transparency and support retrieval. Our network of relationships with key medical record providers has also enabled us to provide the fastest turnaround times in the industry.
Before You Go
To ensure that organizing medical records at your law firm runs smoothly, you should contact American Retrieval today. With our help, you can gain quick turnaround services at an affordable price.