Want repeat business? Do you want to know how to lose a client – so you don’t? Here are some report “don’ts”.
Striking the wrong key
Relying on the computer to function as the only proof reader of your LNC report is sure to miss a few common typographical or grammatical errors. An example I frequently see is the wrong word being typed, i.e. “form” when “from” should appear. A lack of attention to detail is guaranteed to have your client second guessing his request to have you review the critical evidence in his case. You don’t want to do this.
Blind side your client
Do not include any references: source document, Bates numbers, literature citations. You don’t want your client to easily find the critical document or the article that supports the case theory. Attorneys really do want to search through all those medical records themselves. Not!
One and done
Just provide the facts and your conclusion. Don’t include recommendations for the next steps the client should take. After all, the report speaks for itself. Attorneys, being familiar with the provision of health care, can easily identify just the specialty needed for an expert review. All attorneys understand the difference between a diagnostic radiologist and an interventional radiologist, for example. This could lose a client fast.
Missing the point
Make your conclusion hard to find. Place it anywhere but the beginning of your report. Attorneys love to read the whole report before they learn what your conclusions are. Placing your conclusion at the beginning of your report with emphasis formatting would make the attorney less inclined to read your entire report, something to be avoided at all times. Not!
When in doubt, include it. It is important the attorney is made aware of all potential breaches in the standard of care regardless of the relevance to the allegations.
* too much information
Clearly if you do all these things you are at risk for losing a client. Instead, figure out how you can address the attorney’s needs.
Dana Jolly, BSN, RN, LNCC is president of Jolly Consulting, LLC, a national legal nurse consultant firm. She is a published author and frequent lecturer on legal nurse and clinical topics. To learn more about what you can do to present a polished, accurate report, watch the digital downloads of Angie Duke-Haynes, Pat Iyer, and Dana Jolly present online training, Polish Your Writing Skills.