If you have medical records that need to be paginated and would like to get them off your desk, send them to us at Clinco. If you get them to us before 10 December, we’ll get them back to you before 22 December so you can report to your client before Christmas. If the timing works out better for you, send us medical records later in the month too and clear your desk for the holiday! The Clinco office will be closed the week commencing 25 December, but we’ll be there behind the scenes to ensure records are received, acknowledged and securely stored in accordance with ISO27001 standards.
Either way, you will go into the New Year with your cases being progressed and ready to go to the next stage. With time being an important factor in efficient costs recovery, don’t let the holiday slow things up but use us to keep them moving. No one knows more than Clinco about the correct ordering and analysis of medical records, and all that expertise is available for you to use, anytime.
Would you like to save your medical expert’s time, reduce the cost of his report, and have your case brought to the top of the pile?
OK, we have the answer.
Ask any experienced medical expert in any specialty, who is frequently instructed in clinical negligence and complex PI cases, and they will tell you that their heart sinks when they’re presented with a badly ordered set of medical records – which they know are going to take them hours to sift through. They don’t want to charge their time for doing this, but they have to pass at least some of it on in their invoice. At their rates, even an extra hour or so is a substantial sum.
How can this cost be reduced?
It is pointless for an expert’s time to be taken up in this way. They should have a clear indication of the issues from their letter of instruction. If the records have been correctly prepared, they can go straight to the bundle and navigate it easily to find the relevant evidence relating to those issues – then spend their time where it should be directed, to interpreting that evidence, presenting a cogent view and balancing the strengths and weaknesses of the case.
As one nursing expert (Alison Conway, AJC Healthcare Consulting) said recently:
“I am a total advocate for notes being ordered, as the additional time and resultant impact on the quality of the report cannot be stressed enough.”
It is an important point that the content and even the conclusions of the report may be compromised by sub-optimal preparation of the evidence.
How Clinco can assist medical experts
If you are an expert, and find that you don’t like the state of the records which arrive for review, we can put them in order for around the same cost as just one or two hours of your time. Some experts pay the cost themselves and then add it to their invoice. Or let your instructing solicitor know that you’d like them to get a quote from us for ordering the records, and we’ll get them sorted and back to you.
Paying expert hourly rates for ordering records is not a good idea
For solicitors sending out instructions in complex cases, if you use Clinco to organise and paginate the evidence first, you will find your instructions are well received – and more readily worked upon. Most good experts do this kind of work because they enjoy it, but they definitely don’t enjoy the groundwork. Paying expert hourly rates for ordering records is not a good idea.
I have been clocking up the CPD hours recently – attending the one day Inspire MediLaw conference in Edinburgh on ‘Medico-legal Issues in Orthopaedics’ (Clinco sponsored the event), followed by the 9 Gough Chambers afternoon seminar on ‘Recent Developments in Clinical Negligence’ last Thursday.
The SRA stopped the requirement for solicitors to count completed CPD hours in November 2016 in favour of ‘continuing competence’ which makes no specific requirement other than to ‘reflect on your work’ to achieve continuing competence (not defined). For solicitors like me who are not practising, the SRA advice is ‘you do not need to reflect on your work when you are not practising’ (!).
The importance of continuing education for lawyers
My own view is that it was helpful when the SRA took a more proactive role in CPD – to keep standards up generally, particularly for those less motivated or less inclined to allocate resources to education. It’s expensive to attend a conference, not only the fees but the travelling and time out of the office, possibly for several fee earners at once. As a well-known QC once said to me ‘if you think education is expensive, try ignorance’ – at the end of the day, the investment is worthwhile, especially in an area of practice as complex as clinical negligence where we’ve got so much to learn about the medicine as well as the legal developments.
It was great to see the Edinburgh one day conference on orthopaedics fully booked, and the 9 Gough Square event also very well-attended. Clearly there are many practitioners out there who are keen to continue their competence in the old-fashioned way, and with such excellent medical and legal speakers at both, there’s plenty to gain.
‘Medico-legal Issues in Orthopaedics’ and ‘Recent Developments in Clinical Negligence’: useful points – ask for a free copy
I’ve circulated a summary of useful points I picked up from both seminars to our team at Clinco. If anyone reading this would like a copy, just send a request via email to email@example.com
Or ask about our training seminar on the Interpretation of Medical Records
We take education and training seriously. We’ve got three SRA-accredited trainers on staff (from the days when the SRA took an interest in such things) and have our own seminar on the Interpretation of Medical Records (also accredited by the SRA with some very favourable comments on the content). We’ve delivered this seminar a number of times to firms who’ve given us great feedback – if you’d like one or two of us to come to your offices and present it, we’d be pleased to do so, free of charge. Your staff will be able to add it to their continuing competence records. You can find out more about the training we offer by clicking here