You are a legal nurse consultant who has just received a call from a new attorney client. You’re so excited. The attorney shares the major facts of the case and gives you the due date. He says there are hundreds of pages of records. Can technology be the legal nurse consultant’s friend?
While you ask questions, you are already starting to plan how you will organize the records when they arrive and the format you want to use for this report. The report you are planning to write will be stellar. The attorney will be thrilled.
Your legal nurse consulting work begins
When the records arrive you eagerly open them and start evaluating what is actually included. You organize the paper records and start your review. Many hours later, you type the information from the records into your report. It needs to be done so you’re sure the attorney will approve the additional hours.
The due date for the report is approaching. You finish the report on time. A detailed chronology that took hours to create is the centerpiece of your report. With pride in your work product, you send the report and invoice off to your attorney.
The attorney’s reaction
Expecting a positive reaction from the attorney, you are surprised when he calls and says although the work product is satisfactory, the invoice reflecting the additional hours is not acceptable. You spent far more hours than he expected. What went wrong? How can this situation be avoided in the future?
It is time to evaluate your processes. Starting with the initial conversation, you review what you understood the attorney requested. Your notes do not indicate anything different from what you provided him, except for the additional hours you spent writing the report.
What could you have done differently? How could you have worked more efficiently? What technology options would have minimized the time billed for the report? Our clients impose budgetary limitations on us as independent LNCs. We need to invest our resources, including time, wisely.
Document Management Systems for the Legal Nurse Consultant
Here is one thing you can do as a legal nurse consultant to improve your efficiency in report writing. Use a document management system (DMS), such as PaperPort, that offers the ability to scan, create, search, and organize the records. Before purchasing a program, review the existing software programs loaded on your computer system to see if you have similar software.
If a scanner has been installed as part of your office equipment, a DMS program, such as PaperPort, is probably installed. Scanned documents generate a PDF (portable document format) file. Software applications such as Adobe Acrobat or eCopy PDF Pro Office are useful for manipulating and organizing the data within PDF files. Features available within these applications offer many ways for the LNC to organize the records and minimize the time required to complete reports.
The unhappy client scenario does not need to happen again. With the appropriate software and technology, you can scan paper records into the computer, create and name files. When text recognition is applied, the paper record becomes a searchable document.
Phrases, words, medication dosages, and facts can be highlighted and copied to your report.
Now, with your new processes in place, you complete your reports in less than the budgeted hours. Your attorney client is pleased and wants to hire you for his next case.
While DMS software can be expensive, the benefits achieved through efficiency, are worth the cost. This type of product should be seen as a long-term investment in your business. Increased efficiency in organizing records and writing reports provides the opportunity to accept more cases, therefore growing your business.
Learn more about medical records organization and processing by investing in our new digital learning opportunity: Medical Records Arrived: Deciphering Paper or Electronic Records. Join Pat Iyer MSN RN LNCC and Mila Carlson, PhD, MSHSA, RN, CLNC, CNLCP, LNCP-C as we explore how the use of electronic records for case review will increase as more facilities move toward utilizing EMR software. Becoming more familiar with these types of records will allow you to improve record review in an expeditious manner.
This program will provide you with the knowledge needed to be able to decipher electronic medical records. You’ll be taken behind the scenes so you will be able to decode these records and better assist your attorney clients. Get sign up information at this link. Order the replay.