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Records

Streamlining Records Retrieval for Plaintiff Firms

Author: Bert Farris, Plaintiff Records Division President
  • July
  • 12
  • 2018

Bailey & Roberts*, a mid-size firm with 15 trial lawyers, has been a Lexitas customer for over 10 years. Its aggressive and highly successful approach has recovered over $2 billion for clients, including several record setting settlements and verdicts in personal injury cases.

As Bailey & Roberts has grown, new challenges have arisen. Last year, they accepted a very large docket with tens of thousands of plaintiffs originating from all over the United States.

Dozens of firms are sending cases to Bailey & Roberts, all with different medical history questionnaires and intake packets. That adds a layer of complexity to retrieval because the questions are slightly different on each questionnaire.

Medical History Bottleneck Identified

On the front end of the docket, I sat down with Bailey & Roberts to discuss the challenges that began to surface. Together, we identified a bottleneck in their medical records process that was costing them a lot of time and money.

Cases coming over from referring counsel needed to be input in the Bailey & Roberts case management system. Several days to a week after the data entry step was complete, a paralegal would look at the medical history data and decide which provider offices to request medical records from and what types of records were needed, then order the records.

The case input and initial record ordering step is time consuming because it must be done manually. The firm receives hundreds of cases each week, so these steps required a lot of staff who were routinely behind.

Advance Records Retrieval for Law Firms

After identifying the bottleneck we developed a customized solution to alleviate the problem.

To speed up the whole process, we proposed that Lexitas be copied on the cases as they came over from the referring attorneys. Our team would extract the medical history data needed to place record orders from the questionnaires and initiate the record orders using a specific protocol defined by the Bailey & Roberts attorneys and nurse group.

Once Lexitas receives the cases, our team researches each of the facilities to make sure they are submitting requests to the correct legal entity. A pre-determined scope is then automatically applied to each type of facility. Finally, they request the appropriate data range based on questions in the questionnaire.

After ordering the records, we send Bailey & Roberts an Excel spreadsheet, listing the clients’ information and scope of the records ordered that they upload automatically into their case management system. So, what was once being done manually is now automated.

Records Retrieval for Law Firms Streamlined

Following the protocol, we have processed thousands of cases coming in from dozens of referral sources where all the paperwork looks different. It’s a big task, but it was just a matter of finding a way to do it efficiently. We’ve eliminated that entire process of the paralegals’ time, energy and keystrokes.

“The custom solution designed by Lexitas significantly improved the overall records turnaround.”

Carter Bailey, Founding Partner, Bailey & Roberts

By rapidly implementing the solution on the front end of the docket, the medical records are getting in the trial lawyers’ hands several weeks sooner vs. the bottleneck that had been identified. In addition, Bailey & Roberts was able to spool up the docket very quickly.

More Referrals and a Larger Case Load

Faster records turnaround also makes Bailey & Roberts, and trial lawyers in general look better to referring attorneys.

“That’s 30 days sooner that referring lawyers know they have good cases,” explained Bailey. “That makes them want to go get more for us. And, if we are telling them 30 days faster than another firm, referring attorneys are more likely to prefer Bailey & Roberts.”

Because of the time it frees up, streamlined record retrieval for law firms as implemented here allows them to take on additional cases using the existing staff. Or their paralegals can take vacation and work fewer long days.

The bottom line is that personal injury trial lawyers who take on large dockets can’t afford to get bogged down in requesting and processing medical information. Working with a flexible and responsive records retrieval company can uncover opportunities to streamline the process, cutting the turnaround time by weeks.

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*The name of the firm and its principals have been changed for reasons of confidentiality.