Medical chronology reports are a concise summary of all medical events appropriate especially for a personal injury case. These reports reduce the massive amount of time spent by paralegals in reviewing huge piles of medical records.
Elements of a Medical Chronology Report
Preparing a medical chronology report requires years of experience and the person needs to be well versed in both legal and medical terminologies. This report would also include full forms of abbreviations commonly used by doctors and nurses. Since it is a summary for lay people it needs to be clear while conveying all pertinent details outwardly. A typical chronology report for a personal injury case would include the following elements:
- Date of Injury or DOI
- Causation of the injury or illness as reported by the patient
- Medical history of the patient
- Diagnosis or diagnoses
- Treatment Providers
- Dates of Treatment
- Treatment plan (s) which would include diagnostic reports, prescriptions, and referrals
- Prognosis or the likelihood of recovery
- Permanent impairment, if any
- Future medical needs, if any
- Information about prior as well as unrelated medical treatment, if any
- Deciphered and summarized notes and handwriting of physicians and nurses
- The definition of medical terms can be included in a medical summary for quick reference.
How to write an efficient medical chronology report?
Medical chronology reports are not just a list of events with dates related to the 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:
1. Begin immediately
The key aspect of a medical chronology is the facts. Therefore, it is necessary to remember and reproduce every fact exactly, starting from the first conversation with your client. Begin writing your medical chronology report immediately after the first call to capture very 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.
2. Include everything
The medical chronology report must include all the facts — even the minor details. It is necessary to include questionable, disputed information as it might be useful while brainstorming for witnesses or documents. A list of missing information or missing documents should also be highlighted as any missing information if found later might lead to the case not going for a trial.
3. Evaluation & Interpretation of data
Although it is important to include all details of the case, one must be sure of the relevance of the detail to the case. The facts on the report must be validated and the consequences of it must be determined. An effective medical chronology report should not be a list of facts in the medical lingo. Instead, it must be an easy-to-understand, fact-based interpretation of the medical event.
These are a few of the aspects that we think are important. An efficient chronology report might help you avoid lengthy litigations and bags out of court settlements. Make sure to pay attention to details while you prepare one.
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