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Paginating medical records

  • Published: February 06, 2020
  • Author: Sarah Wallace, Managing Director, Clinco

We've been hard at work in the Clinco offices, processing cases and moving matters forward for our client firms. There have been several very complex, high-value cases which have made full use of our expertise. These cases are likely to run for many years. In most of these cases, the patient has evolving needs under active, ongoing clinical management across many different specialties.

Updating the records and chronology is almost always needed in these long-running, complex matters. Usually, this will involve substantial updating of records from a range of healthcare providers. It's easy, over time, for the fee earner to lose control of the updating process and for the records to get out of hand. Duplication or overlap can start to proliferate. The bundle can become disorganised, and hard to navigate. The knock-on effect is that it's more difficult to spot gaps in disclosure and track developments in the condition and treatment of the patient.

We're often asked to rectify a bundle where a fee earner has taken over conduct of a matter where this has happened. We have seen some poorly prepared records where various attempts have been made to update them. We can always make it right by doing whatever is needed to resolve the issues and get the case back into a good state.

Maintaining control of the medical records through the life of the case

We advocate, however, getting a good grip on the records right from the outset. It's important to maintain control throughout the life of the case by updating methodically at intervals of around 12-18 months. This depends on where the case is in terms of the expert evidence and the timetable. If you use our service from the beginning, we will update efficiently – as the groundwork will have been properly and consistently carried out. So, we can swiftly eliminate overlap and duplication. In some cases, we have completed eight updates and the bundle remains in excellent shape.

We tend to update by extending the index and pagination, rather than inserting pages. This prevents the rather unsatisfactory 'point additions' – 100.1. 100.2 etc, which only get worse as the years go by and the suffixes get longer. A straightforward extension of page numbering is clear and keeps the index easy to read. It is also more compatible with digital versions of the records in pdf format. If you prefer a simple prefix per provider (such as A100) to keep updates from that provider directly following on rather than later in the bundle, we can do this. And it gives a good, clear result.

These updates need to be carried out correctly and in an organised way. We keep an electronic version of everything we collate. So, when the time comes to update, we only need the new records, not the whole set back again, to eliminate overlap and complete the update. At Clinco, we aim to bring clarity and help fee earners to progress their cases – updating the records is a significant part of our work on your behalf.

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