Medical case chronology preparation is one of the value-added medical review services attorneys can use when taking up a personal injury, medical negligence or mass tort case. Chronologies are valuable tools when prosecuting or defending the above types of cases. It can clearly recount the plaintiff’s history and remove any ambiguity that may be present in the narrative medical notes. It also helps when the attorney needs to specifically demarcate the actions of his/her client physician from that of another healthcare professional. You can have a customized chronology, it can be drafted in such a way as to summarize important information only; or you can ask for a word-for-word transcription of selected portions. Non-medical people such as attorneys and their paralegal staff are not used to reviewing medical charts and identifying pertinent information related to a patient. A medical chronology addresses that problem by providing a list of all relevant information in chronological order, presenting each and every fact such as the type of record and provider. This helps attorneys easily locate the records at a later stage.
The practical option for attorneys is to partner with an experienced medical record review company used to handling hundreds of thousands of pages of medical records every month. These services are efficient because to manage the huge volume of records, they create a sustainable workflow system and deliver projects in a timely manner in keeping with priority requirements and deposition deadlines. This ensures that their client legal professionals receive the reviews they want within the set turnaround time. The patient records are neatly and efficiently organized into medical chronologies and timelines so that the events are reconstructed and presented for the attorney to peruse and quickly understand. It will provide the attorney a bird’s eye view of all events in sequential order until the present. Typically, there are 4 sections in a chronology:
- Date and time
- Documentation: The name of the document is given as for instance “Emergency record”, and the document content is summarized.
- Bates label/page: The document location is identified by either the Bates number or the PDF page number. This page identifier can be hyperlinked so that easy access of the original record is enabled.
- Source(s): This is specified in terms of facility and provider.
A well-drafted case chronology will benefit you in the following ways:
- Understand the sequence of medical events and have a clear view of the case
- Attorneys can better prepare witnesses for depositions with chronologies in which all key facts are highlighted.
- Hyperlinks to the sources make reference easy and hassle free.
- Get information about missing medical records.
- The insights provided will help you make the right decision, whether to accept or decline a case.
The importance of a medical case chronology cannot be overstated. Attorneys can use it to present a powerful case to both the judge and jury. When preparing for depositions, or developing motions for summary judgment and pretrial motions and during trial it becomes an invaluable tool.