Unfortunately, medical record retrieval for law firms is largely on the healthcare provider. 

When you’re working with someone you know, the whole process can be easy and only take a few days. But it’s not uncommon for the process to be difficult, time-consuming, and expensive.

Optimizing your system and using the right tools will help you speed up retrieval and get your personal injury case moving.

Here are 10 tips to help you get your client’s medical records faster.

1. File Correctly

You can basically say goodbye to your precious time if you accidentally file a health record request improperly. 

Hospitals and doctor’s offices are notoriously picky about how you file, especially large hospitals that service lots of patients.

So while it seems obvious, be sure you or your team carefully reads the requirements before sending requests. Especially if you’re requesting records from a place you haven’t worked with before.

2. Send Requests to the Right Department

Sending medical record requests to the wrong department could mean delays, or worse, no reply.

Some hospital staffers will just delete the document if it’s sent to the wrong place. In other cases, it may just get lost. So call to make sure where to send requests.

3. Optimize Your Process

You can take control of the medical record retrieval for law firms process by optimizing your own systems.

Refine yours and educate your employees. Or put together a short video and/or checklist document to ensure your team members follow each step.

4. Check Costs

Some medical providers may try to charge high rates for medical record retrieval. This could slow things down on your end, especially when requesting in bulk.

Kindly remind them that exorbitant fees violate HIPAA guidelines, which state a flat fee of $6.50, which includes labor and postage, is the most they can charge for medical records.

5. Use a Secure Online Portal

A secure online portal that connects medical providers and attorneys makes it easier for all parties involved.

Medical records don’t have to be printed and shipped, and they are secured by HIPAA-compliant features like server-side encryption. 

As another plus, law firms who get on board with this type of tech now could win clients in the future. There have been several hard pushes to make online health record sharing ubiquitous across the medical field in recent years.

6. Follow Up

Luck favors the persistent. Sometimes, a follow up email or phone call can get your requests processed faster. Just remember to follow up, not nag or annoy.

As part of your law firm’s systems, having follow-up dates automatically set in a computer to trigger a follow-up can be useful.

7. Outsource Your Process

For large scale law firms, outsourcing your medical record retrievals can be a good solution. 

On-demand medical record retrieval services are just one example of the type of outsourcing you might research. 

However, services like these can be pretty expensive. But they could save money in the long run.

8. Use AI

Once the medical records are in your hands, there’s still lots of work to do. Speeding up retrieval isn’t just about the files arriving at your door; it’s about having access to useful data for your client’s personal injury case.

Unfortunately, you’re also at the mercy of healthcare providers on this too.

It’s not uncommon to receive hundreds of pages of health records, which you or a paralegal then has to sift through looking for relevant data. 

Newer artificial intelligence solutions can comb through data to help you find what you’re looking for.

9. Be Available

Medical providers routinely follow up on requests to clarify and ask questions. 

If you or an in-the-know staff member isn’t available when they call, you could delay receiving your documents. Or you might get the wrong documents altogether. In either case, it’s best to be available and responsive.

10. Use Your Client

It’s a last-ditch play, but asking your client to reach out could help with truly difficult medical providers. 

You don’t want your clients doing work on your behalf, but they might have a relationship with the office you can leverage to get the documents faster.

How to Speed Up Medical Record Retrieval for Law Firms

To speed up medical record retrievals for law firms, be sure you file documents correctly, have an airtight system in your firm, and take advantage of tech tools that make online record sharing easy.

Request a demo of ShareScape today to see just how easy it is for law firms to get connected with medical providers for health information sharing.