Attorneys who litigate medical-related cases are intelligent. They are also enterprising which is exactly why they use Certified Legal Nurse Consultants. The smartest attorneys know they need RNs for their legal nurse consultant jobs.
In this blog the CLNC® Pros discuss 6 reasons attorneys need RNs.
- Certified Legal Nurse Consultants close the gap between the attorney’s legal expertise and the CLNC nursing expertise.CLNC consultant Dale Barnes, RN, MSN, PHN, CLNC describes, “A lot of attorneys think they can review a medical-related case independently, until they’re shown what they might be missing. When they see the scope of our nursing practice and knowledge base, most attorneys agree that their effectiveness can be enhanced by consulting with a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.”CLNC consultant Jane Hurst, RN, CLNC shares, “Attorneys are legal experts. They don’t have the education, training and experience to properly address medical-related issues. Even attorneys who specialize in medical cases need the services of a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. They may have experience with different types of injuries, illnesses, or disease; however, they don’t have the background to address the specific issues surrounding the plaintiff’s case. Not using a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant may result in important and valuable medical issues being missed.”
- Certified Legal Nurse Consultants have been where attorneys aren’t allowed.Your knowledge is not theoretical, it’s real. You’ve been in the trenches bringing experiences to the case that the attorney can never claim.CLNC consultant Dorene Goldstein, RN, BSN, CLNC explains, “Attorneys need Certified Legal Nurse Consultants to translate the medical and nursing information into terms that they can understand. We bring years of clinical experience and can explain what happens in the real world of healthcare. We read between the lines in the medical record and help decode what’s not documented.”
CLNC consultant Camille Joyner, RN, BSN, CCM, CLNC discusses her expertise with Medicare cases, “In appealing Medicare claims denials, the Certified Legal Nurse Consultant offers a number of skills that the attorney doesn’t have. This includes nursing experience and CLNC training regarding record review, with an eye for falsification of documentation and missing entries suggesting lack of care. Legal nurse consultants also have a much better idea of medical conditions, complications and drug interactions which is essential to the analysis of medical records. This knowledge enables the Certified Legal Nurse Consultant to point out issues that strengthen the attorney’s case.”
CLNC consultant Laura Tucco, RN, PhD, FNP-BC, CNS-BC, CLNC expands, “Without Certified Legal Nurse Consultants, attorneys are not able to understand the nuances of a case. A medical malpractice attorney may be familiar with medical scenarios and medical jargon from reviewing cases, deposing witnesses and speaking with medical professionals, but the attorney lacks the professional healthcare experience of a CLNC consultant. The attorney doesn’t see a case through a nurse’s lens – a lens that has lived through thousands of medical scenarios with patients. This experience is invaluable and allows the CLNC consultant to bring a different and deeper perspective to a case.”
- Certified Legal Nurse Consultants are experts on the standards of care (SOC).SOC vary considerably from one specialty to another. CLNC consultant Rebecca Jones, RN, MSN, CNM, CLNC states, “Knowing the standards of care will support an attorney and their case or identify holes in the case that the attorney may not have uncovered already.”CLNC consultant Robert Malaer, RN, MSN, PMHN, SANE, CNLCP, CALM, CLNC describes, “Certified Legal Nurse Consultants provide a level of understanding and experience that attorneys and paralegals do not possess. We analyze voluminous and complex medical records, organize them in a way that makes sense to the attorney, summarize all relevant details into concise points, identify missing or incomplete records, and simplify the electronic medical records (EMRs). We provide insightful and thorough explanations of the inner processes and disciplines within a medical organization, identify deviations from standards of care, and explain how the deviations relate to the causation issues in medical malpractice cases. Juries become easily confused with highly complex or technical discussions, which is where a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant can come into play. Having a CLNC consultant explain and break down complicated concepts can ensure that the jury understands all the details of the case in laymen terms, allowing them to make a more informed decision based on facts rather than a speculative misinterpretation of confusing and theoretical testimonies.”
- Certified Legal Nurse Consultants have insider knowledge.CLNC consultant Michelle Neal, RN, BSN, CLNC explains, “Certified Legal Nurse Consultants know how to analyze and interpret medical records in a way attorneys do not. Legal nurses don’t just review records to fill in the blanks on a case. We have insider knowledge, which allows us to negotiate through the complicated medical aspects of a case and deliver our findings in a clear and concise manner. We investigate and use our critical thinking skills and nursing expertise to determine what might be missing, what does and does not piece together, what potential contributing factors might affect the outcome of the case and how the alleged damages are or are not related to the medical and nursing care.”
- Certified Legal Nurse Consultants are effective and efficient in analyzing the EMR.CLNC consultant Susan Schaab, RN, BSN, CLNC addresses this fact, “Many attorneys falsely believe they can review the electronic medical records and have a full understanding of them. However, it is a mistake to equate ability to read with the ability to understand. The printout from the EMR is very different from the old photo copies of the paper chart. Before EMRs, the discharge summary was the physicians discharge note. Although there is still a discharge summary in the EMR, the computer discharge summary is the entire encounter. Handwritten progress notes used to contain notes from one, maybe even three, providers. The EMR progress note can easily cover six pages and much of the information is copied and pasted each day. Certified Legal Nurse Consultants are able to review and understand the EMR printout more efficiently than the attorney.”
- Certified Legal Nurse Consultants are impartial.CLNC consultant Michelle Neal, RN, BSN, CLNC shares, “Certified Legal Nurse Consultants incorporate a non-biased opinion based on the facts of the case. This makes us invaluable.”CLNC consultant Susan Schaab, RN, BSN, CLNC describes, “Many attorneys develop detailed medical knowledge, especially those who specialize in certain types of medical cases. What I have found is that they begin to see malpractice and evil doing in cases that have the potential for high reward or when the client has a heartbreaking story. I am the objective reviewer. I am paid for delivering the highest level service and work product, and I can only do that by remaining objective. My strongest attorney-client relationships are built on my distinguishing the nonmeritorious cases from the meritorious ones.”
Certified Legal Nurse Consultants perform 30 services – from analyzing the EMR to assisting the attorney with discovery. They close the gap between their nursing expertise and the attorney’s legal expertise. As CLNC consultant Michelle Neal, RN, BSN says, “Certified Legal Nurse Consultants are hidden treasures to attorneys. Attorneys shine when it comes to law and Certified Legal Nurse Consultants only make that light shine brighter! Our depth of knowledge and clinical nursing experience allow us to play a role in the case that attorneys simply cannot.”
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