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Turning Points and Their Use in Legal Nurse Consulting Review and Reporting

Posted May 06 2010 12:00am

As nurse consultants working in the legal field, we often have to generate reports for our clients.  My friend, Pat Iyer, is working to educate legal nurse consultants on how to sharpen their writing skills.  She held a contest recently in which contestants were to submit their best writing tip.  The top tip was from Barbara Boschert of St. Louis Missouri.  She states,  “Whenever possible, I keep specific turning points in a box because it is a way to pull them out, set them apart, and make them a quick point of reference. ”

Questions were posed to Barbara to explain what exactly what are turning points and how she uses them in her work.  She explained that the use of this “turning point box” format only works when you are providing a narrative summary. If the legal nurse consultant is working on a chronology in table format, everything is already in boxes.  Most LNC’s have a column for comments, and one could highlight these turning points in bold italicized text and/or with a color highlight as well.

The use of “turning points”  depends on the type of case.  In a personal injury or workers compensation case, the mechanism of injury may not fit the clinical picture, so Barbara reports she might put a citation or reference in a box that demonstrates that point. Or she might find a pre-existing condition that had been missed, but has a bearing on mitigating medical specials.

In a medical malpractice case, Barbara relates a time when she found that proverbial needle in the haystack that turned the case in a favorable direction for her client.  She wanted to be sure to highlight it so she made it a stand-alone entry. Barbara also suggests that LNC’s provide a key with the report or perhaps even a separate appendix that is a fast reference tool for the attorney that helps hi,/her better understand the import of emphasized content.

I’m sure many of you have many little techniques as well that work for bringing facts to the forefront. We are paid for our time and expertise in order to save the attorney firm from having to decipher, organize, and pull out the sometimes elusive issues.  We all have ideas to get the important information up front and center.  If you have a special tip or trick that you have used with success, leave a comment and perhaps your specialty will be featured in an upcoming post.

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