Medical records and their accurate review are of immense significance in medical malpractice cases. Our medical record review company assists medical malpractice, mass tort and personal injury attorneys in establishing the validity of injury claims through a stringent medical chart review process. If attorneys are to successfully develop and argue their case, the medical records need to be thoroughly analyzed by a professional medical record reviewer.
When reviewing medical records in a malpractice case, the focus is on finding whether there has been any breach in standard care, any injury to the patient, and causation or link between the breach and the injury. While a slipshod medical record could increase medical negligence risk, a well-drafted one is the physician’s best defense if a negligence case arises.
So, what information does the patient medical record contain and why are these records reviewed? Any medical record contains confidential healthcare information of the patients, which will be extracted and used to prepare the medical malpractice case. As the title suggests, having the right medical record review firm is important for medical malpractice attorneys. To understand why this is so, we have to first look at the challenges involved in reviewing the medical documentation, which are real hurdles in the path of a person untrained in medicine.
- The first hurdle is identifying which medical records are relevant to the medical malpractice claim. The complete medical chart is voluminous and all the entries may not be relevant to the claim. So, the relevant medical records have to be identified.
- Complex medical terminology and jargon constitute the next difficulty. Attorneys and their legal team will find it rather difficult to make sense of these medical terms. Medical abbreviations are also a major concern.
- Identifying tampering in the records: When a malpractice case arises, the provider facing the charges could tamper with the entries and make illegal corrections. Such corrections need to be identified, which is again a difficult process that requires excellent expertise in medical terminology and processes.
- Missing records: The attorney may not be able to determine if the record set received is a complete one. There may be important information in the missing medical records that may be needed as the case develops.
- Determining whether the claim is a legally valid one: If the legitimacy of the claim is not established at an early stage itself, it may lead to considerable loss of time and effort for the attorney and the legal team. On the other hand, if a professional medical review service is hired to assist in the process, they will analyze the records and prepare a medical case summary that is easy for the attorney to understand.
- Attorneys will also find it difficult to find out whether the physician deviated from the expected standard of care, and this caused the injury to the patient.
An expert provider of medical record review for attorneys will ensure the necessary assistance in all the above aspects. Importantly, all pertinent medical records, including old records will be reviewed for all areas of liability as well as potential liability. Moreover, when the review process is started at an early stage itself, it can be identified whether other specialists have to be approached for additional review and opinion.
Review of old patient records will help recognize any pre-existing conditions that may have complicated the treatment provided and were missed by the treating physician and his/her team.
In any medical malpractice case, liability and damages have to be established to receive compensation by the court. The attorney has to make sure whether the physician was liable for the damages sustained by the plaintiff, and if found liable the nature and extent of the damages have to be ascertained. For this, attorneys must have a good understanding of the medical records, as well as a chronological understanding of all the medical encounters experienced by the plaintiff.
It is in this regard that the right medical record review company becomes especially significant for medical malpractice attorneys. Experienced medical record reviewers will make the entire review process hassle-free and efficient. Attorneys can rest assured that they are working with a complete medical chart. Since a clear understanding of the damages is obtained at an early stage itself, it will help avoid or minimize the challenges related to prosecuting or defending the malpractice case in court.