As a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant in the Quality, Risk and Regulatory Compliance Department in an acute care facility, I never lack for something to occupy my time, talents and skills. A huge chunk of my day is spent digging into patient medical records regarding quality of care and claims made against the hospital.
To discover information related to the concern or claim, I review both the electronic and paper medical records. My record review skills come in handy for surveyors or state investigators as I can direct them to exactly what they are looking for in a record (the staff knows to “Call Connie”).
Record review as a compliance Certified Legal Nurse Consultant requires interaction with staff and physicians. For example, an ED physician ordered a urinary analysis (UA), but cancelled the order because the patient reported that she couldn’t void. The physician failed to determine the reason she couldn’t void stating, “If I had a nickel for every time a patient said she couldn’t void, I would be rich.” The patient’s family reported that the patient had not been going to the bathroom regularly. In my discussion with the physician, we agreed that exploring the reason for the inability to void and getting the UA would have given him the information needed to timely and appropriately treat the patient. I had the unhappy duty of informing the ED physician that this patient expired and the autopsy indicated she was about eight weeks pregnant at the time of death.
When an event occurrs, I help staff members factually document events and treatment. In the event of a bad outcome, I role play with physicians and staff prior to disclosure to patients and families. This keeps everyone on the same page and eliminates feckless communication between the hospital, patients and families.
I help prepare physicians and staff for deposition and sit with them during depositions as a friendly face.
I provide requests for production to hospital attorneys litigating medical malpractice cases. I have also reviewed legal briefs so I can explain the facts in a case to the attorneys.
My chronological timelines of events coupled with supporting references to standards of care show physicians, hospital staff and attorneys whether a claim is meritorious or not.
Finally, my current position as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant in compliance allows me the opportunity to consult with attorneys on cases not associated with the hospital. These cases are in long term care, physician practices, clinics as well as other acute care facilities. They hone my CLNC® skills and add to my ever growing medical and nursing knowledge base.
My career as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant gives me the opportunity to love what I do and reap the monetary rewards as a CLNC consultant.
P.S. Comment and share unique ways you consult as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.
Guest Blogger Profile
Connie S. Chappelle, RNC, MN, ARNP, CLNC is a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant and risk manager. Connie has 34 years experience in nursing and has consulted with attorneys on a variety of medical cases including severe sepsis and septic shock, emergency, automobile accidents, birth defects, bariatric surgery, back and neck injuries and patient falls. She has expert knowledge in Joint Commission, Department of Health and Senior Services, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid regulations for acute and long term care. With Connie’s expertise, her plaintiff attorney-clients have won multimillion-dollar settlements and defense attorney-clients have had their clients removed from claims.