It is essential to organize and store important patient data like demographics, and treatment information in one place so that it can be retrieved easily later. Medical record indexing is an integral part of organizing records. Organized medical records help attorneys access all the information regarding the plaintiff’s injury/illness, and treatment course. This is the most important aspect in personal injury, medical malpractice, workers’ compensation and product liability cases. Medical records organization and indexing services provide the correct sequence of medical encounters and events, and this enables attorneys to litigate cases successfully.
Why Medical Records Need to be Sorted, Indexed and Hyperlinked
- Evidence extracted from the medical records helps attorneys to flawlessly litigate the plaintiff’s case. If these records are properly aligned, it would be easier to access them at the time of need.
- Multiple medical records are required in certain cases. The number of records depends upon the nature of the case. The types of records include Physician Notes, Emergency Department Reports, Medication Administration Records, Diagnostic Tests and more. Attorneys have to take note of the dates of the services provided. Medical records indexing helps attorneys to navigate through the required records based on the number assigned to the location.
- Indexing helps to quickly identify the medical records that have the vital information which determines the fate of the case.
- If the medical records are indexed either in alphabetical order or chronological order, attorneys are not required to look through every binder to extract information.
- Sorting and subsequent indexing helps to assess the completeness of the required documents. It also checks whether the testimony given by the plaintiff is accurate or not.
- HIPAA compliance can be ensured.
- Any missing medical records can be identified easily.
Sorting, Indexing and Hyperlinking of Medical Records
Medical records are sorted by classifying relevant information that supports the attorney in the litigation process. The sorted medical records are chronologically arranged and indexed. This gives an accurate timeline of all the medical encounters of the plaintiff.
Four types of records that have to be sorted and indexed are:
- Medical records: The index consists of the listing of medical records that the attorney has received. Dates of service and the number assigned to the location will also be specified. Diagnoses can be added to the index to quickly identify the records that have important information.
- Radiographs: A radiograph index has all films and disks of radiographs, including x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds, etc. The index contains dates of service, the type of radiograph and the location where it is stored. Each disk of radiographs is assigned a number.
- Pathology specimens: They are indexed by dates of service, the location where the specimens are accessed and the specimen number.
- Pleadings: These are documents that are filed with the court during the litigation process. Pleadings are indexed by ascending numbers as per the directions of the attorney. Pleadings are filed in reverse chronological order.
Medical records organization facilitates the access of all the necessary facts in an easily detectable format by following the steps given below:
- The document types of medical records are closely analyzed. The data regarding the medical treatment/ service providers, encounter dates and other customized data fields are accurately captured.
- The electronic medical records are categorized into sections and subsections.
- The documents are sorted according to the date range within the section.
- Duplicate multiple records are removed.
- Attorneys’ requests are accommodated while sorting orders are customized.
- Separate duplicate records are delivered when requested.
- The required documents are delivered in PDF format with Tab sheets.
- After professional sorting of the records, they have to be paginated.
- There are standard legal requirements that have to be followed while paginating the medical records.
- The numbering starts from “ Page 1” and steadily increases throughout the entire medical record.
- These numbers will be referenced in the Indexing and summarization sections.
- Then an index is created which helps attorneys navigate through the entire pile of documents easily.
- Hyperlinks are embedded in the indexed medical records.
- The process of hyperlinking allows attorneys to easily navigate from vital medical data and timelines to the corresponding source medical records.
Medical records indexing enables attorneys to fetch information quickly and this expedites the data extraction from the voluminous medical documents. As a company providing medical records review for attorneys, we incorporate best indexing techniques and this helps attorneys focus on the core competencies without investing valuable time in sorting and indexing records.