What is this thing you call a Legal Nurse Consultant?
What is a Legal Nurse Consultant?
A Legal Nurse Consultant is a Registered Nurse, or in our firm a Nurse Practitioner, who uses their years of experience and education in the medical field to provide comprehensive reviews and analysis of medical records and medical-legal issues. Legal Nurses can act as a fact witness or locate expert witnesses for testimony. Nurses receive advanced training in the area of medical record review and can provide valuable information to attorneys, insurance companies, government agencies, healthcare organizations, and other organizations. Legal Nurse Consultants review and analyze medical records, detect tampering in medical records, offer assistance with or create demonstrative evidence, evaluate medical information, and provide professional nursing opinions regarding the causation of injuries and the assessment of damages to individuals. Legal Nurse Consultants can interview witnesses under the direction of an attorney to help expose the truth in cases. Legal Nurse Consultants provide reports and other presentations to their client to help determine how to find the truth in the case at hand. Legal Nurses can also recognize signs of tampering within the patients’ charts and records to cover up mistakes.
What does that really mean? How can a law firm benefit from using a Legal Nurse Consultant?
Let’s see if you can relate to the following scenario.
- You are running late to court
- You receive a call regarding a case that is teetering on the statute of limitations
- The records finally arrived at your office yesterday and have yet to be reviewed
- You leave for a long awaited long overdue vacation the next day – out of the country – and the wrath of your spouse and children will envelope you if you even consider thinking about work on this trip
- The records are electronic (the good news) and enormous (the bad news) with years of surgical reports, medications, scanned progress notes from penmanship-challenged medical professionals… I think you get the picture
Hopefully you have at least one Legal Nurse Consultant contact. If you do, it is easy for him/her to get the ball rolling while you relax in the Mediterranean. You can feel confident that at the very least the records will be complete, organized, tabbed, and paginated when you return. You will have a nice narrative to know the meat of the case, and if it even has merit. You will even have a glossary of terms and abbreviations. How easy is that?