As 2017 unfolds, we look forward to developing and expanding our ability to service you, as both technology and rules of law evolve. We’ve learned our priority continues to be educating the Legal Market about our services. For Personal Injury, Mass Tort and Class Action litigation, we’ve proven our value as an alternative to using in-house resources for medical record retrieval. Adding Legal Nurse Consultants to evaluate those records instead of retired physicians produces better, faster, and often less costly results. With a clear understanding of what we offer, our relationship will continue to blossom and produce measurable results.

So here are just a few thoughts we’d like to leave you with as we put 2016 in the books, and start to plan and develop goals for 2017.

  • Don’t go it alone. Believe it or not, there are firms like ours that genuinely want to help you achieve your 2017 goals. It’s not simply about selling a product or service. Instead we continue to work to educate you on new ways of practicing law as your business partner and advisor.
  • Confused about the process of medical record retrieval? Wondering if you should you consider a Legal Nurse Consultant? We can explain the best processes for handling a complex litigation and how both requesting and summarizing records can be done efficiently.
  • The biggest risk is doing the same thing – again. It is by far the easiest since everyone knows their roles and can respond to requests. There are businesses right now trying to come up with more appealing approaches to solving client problems. We call them early adopters, but in reality they began their journey to change 3-5 years ago. They have more efficient processes, happier clients, and better employee morale. In fact, staff turnover can be one of the most expensive results of overloading your team with work better managed via outsourcing. Legal Technology. Whether it’s iPads hosting Skype meetings, or a plan to reduce paper handling by 25% for the year, technology continues to provide significantly improved productivity. Look for proven solutions like the Cloud. Ensure it can incorporate the highest level of security. Strong- encryption access to firm and client data, regardless of device or network, should be a firm-wide goal.
  • Take a serious look at alternative processes for everything from ordering medical records to having a Legal Nurse Consultant evaluate them. There has been much emphasis in the last 5 year on eDiscovery. It’s time to get back to the basics of capturing client information quickly, efficiently, responsibly. Then using new(er) methods and people who specialize in these fields instead of repurposing in-house staff.
  • Develop solid partnerships with vendors who can ease your workload and improve your case flow. Reduce redundancy by eliminating “checkers checking the checkers”. Set guidelines, expectations, work from summaries whenever possible, instead of getting drawn into the weeds. Use delegation as a tool for mentoring the next wave of leaders. Weed out the “polished producers” of tons of data, instead choosing a clear summary with links to drill downs exist where needed.
  • Be an active part of your legal community. In 2017, commit to leverage the organizations which can help you become aware of successful partnerships, technologies and solutions. It’s time to leverage Bar Associations for more than just discounts on cell phone service. Often a little bit of involvement in your local groups can provide you with surprising results. It may be a bit time consuming, but the rewards are there. You just need to find the time, and bring along those potential future leaders. Expose them to those same opportunities for personal growth and professional networking.
  • Make time for you. It sounds so trite, but without piping Harry Chapin’s tune “Cat’s in the Cradle”, time goes by way too fast. Make a commitment to your health, your relationships, and the people who are special to you. Before you know it, you’re thinking seriously about retirement, and how to enjoy the most out of life – outside of business. By the way, I am not inferring that anyone should plan on packing up their office on the day they hit 66. Learn from looking in the rear-view mirror. What’s worked and what has not in achieving personal goals. Regardless of where you are in your career, you have information to share with students and the newest staff members. Commit to spend time doing those things which bring pleasure, pride and admiration from peers, students, colleagues, friends, and of course, family.
  • While I refuse to get into politics in blogs, I make this one exception. Every person started a new job at least once. Regardless of your field of practice, be aware of proposed changes in healthcare rules, regulatory compliance and impacts of both currency and trade. You might think it’s a topic that cannot affect you personally or your business, but I politely disagree. I think a good leader surrounds themselves with smarter people. Let’s hope that approach is correctly deployed as the names of the incoming leadership crystallize.
  • Lastly, increase 2017 budget on security by 2-4X. Many firms are being asked to see a tech-audit to ensure that their servers are safe, and that client data is secure. Do not rely purely on what a vendor committed to in a proposal signed 2 years ago. Demand to see where cloud-based repositories are located. Send someone to confirm that all those backup servers are based in the US. Consider deploying an ethical hacking project, to test not only the security, but to browse the offices and computers. Discover if passwords written on Post-Its™ stuck to screens or under keyboards. For mobile devices, look at offerings from Mobile Iron and RSA. Teach staffs about what the REAL HIPAA rules mean, and how to be complying. It’s a lot to do, and it needs supporting budget to be done right.

Thank you as always for reading what we try to provide as education and not advertising. We hope you find value, and feedback of any kind – a single word helps – is appreciated.

Again, best wishes for a happy holiday, and a fantastic 2017.

Chuck Dart
President, Record Retrieval Solutions