Medical Chronology Report: What is it and how to write an efficient report?
A Medical Chronology is a report that provides a concise, factual, and informative summary of a client’s medical treatment. As attorneys, you juggle multiple cases. Sifting through vast volumes of medical records can be time-consuming. Our team is experienced in reviewing and analyzing medical records and creating custom chronologies. Attorneys can use a Medical Chronology to understand what happened to the client, the extent of the injuries and medical treatment, and how the injuries related to an accident or incident. The Medical Chronology can be provided to the insurance carrier as a tool to aid in the settlement of a claim before the filing of a lawsuit. If a settlement cannot be achieved pre-suit, the Medical Chronology can be used in litigation, such as to prepare for a deposition or trial.
Components of a Medical Chronology
- A short narrative of every relevant medical encounter and treatment.
- The records of a hospital visit or stay and subsequent treatment by physicians and physical therapists are summarized, along with the results of diagnostic testing and imaging.
- The treating medical provider’s comments regarding the causation of the injuries, prognosis, and permanency are included in a medical summary.
- Highlights of any major events are set forth.
- A summary of the medical bills and expenses.
How to write an efficient medical chronology report?
Medical chronology reports are not just a list of events with dates related to the treatment and incident. It is a crucial part of a medico-legal case and sometimes the key element to winning it. Therefore, improper preparation of a chronology might render it useless. Here are some tips to prepare a case winning medical chronology:
- Begin immediately
The critical aspect of a medical chronology is the facts. Therefore, it is necessary to reproduce every fact relevant fact regarding the incident and treatment, starting from the first conversation with your client. Begin writing your medical chronology report immediately after the first call to capture minor details of the case. Delay in time might lead to loss of information. Also, most of the time, trivial information from a client conversation might be the key to winning a case.
- Include everything
The medical chronology report must include all of the relevant facts — even the minor details. It is necessary to also have questionable or disputed information as it might be useful while strategizing and brainstorming about issues that may arise, including proving liability, causation, and damages. A list of missing data or missing records should also be highlighted as any missing information, if found later, might be case-dispositive.
At times, medical records contain non-medical information that may be highly relevant. For example, the records may refer to the facts of the accident that the client relayed to the doctor. That information is important, as it may be used to show causation and build a case against the tortfeasor. Therefore, all factual information that may be useful to the case should be included in the report.
- Evaluation & interpretation of the information
A useful medical chronology report should not be a list of facts using medical lingo, as most attorneys are layman when it comes to medical terms. Instead, it must be an easy-to-understand, fact-based interpretation of the medical event. Medical terms that may not be generally known should be defined and abbreviations of medical terms should be spelled out, so that the reader has a full understanding of the treatment, diagnosis, and prognosis. An attorney, insurance adjuster, mediator, arbitrator, or anyone else that may read the chronology report should be able to understand the information presented, evaluate the treatment, and come to an understanding of what occurred.
These are a few of the aspects that we think are important. An efficient chronology report will save you time, effort, and costs, and it may help in settling cases or prevailing at trial. Make sure to pay attention to details while you prepare one.
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