The Role legal nurse consultant may provide service in a number of roles, including but not limited to:
Trainer and in-service presenter
Quality improvement, risk management, claims management
Liability insurance marketer and clinical resource” (Chizek, 2003)
As standards of care constantly change, medical and nursing staff must keep informed of current standard to develop and/or modify policies and procedures, which must be maintained and secured indefinitely. In the event the facility is sued, these will be used to establish the current standard during the time of the questionable occurrence. Policies and procedures also provide the legal nurse consultant with the foundation for facility documentation to be judged for compliance. (Chizek, 2003)
The minimum length of time the modified policies and procedures should be kept is the time frame of the statute of limitations in the individual jurisdiction. In most jurisdictions, the statute of limitations is two to three years.” (Chizek, 2003) Training constitutes a vital component for healthcare providers, particularly for legal nurse consultants, to help ensure they are familiar with the current standard of care. If a legal nurse consultant does not attend continuing education programs; does not provide ensure his/her professional growth, development, and training – he/she does not have any defense, if sued. (Chizek, 2003) During the course of an investigation when staff members “statements,” routinely used by both plaintiff and defense counsel during the litigation process, appear to be inconclusive, poorly written and/or damaging for the defense, the legal nurse consultant proves invaluable. he/she can interview staff and supply directed questioning to determine facts regarding the case, with the employee signing and dating statement and/or document to verify authenticity. As the legal nurse consultant works with the defense counsel, he/she can help protect critical documented data and ensure information is consistent, comprehensive, and integrated. (Chizek, 2003)
Marc Zwelling (2002) reports in: “The Blended Economy: Blending ideas offers an alternative to specialization”: “The New York Times recently reported unprecedented growth in the new profession of legal nurse consultant.
From none a decade ago, there are more than 4,000 in America today.” The legal nurse consultant, albeit remains a nurse; he/she does not become a lawyer. not a lawyer. “Nurses learn enough law in training institutes to become legal nurse consultants.” (Zwelling, 2002) a legal nurse consultant, Brown (1999, p. 109) reports, uses:.”.. medical knowledge and paralegal training to assist in personal injury and civil law cases.” During 1999, the Department of Labor reported that the paralegal profession constituted one of the five fastest growing occupations in the U.S. At this time, the employment outlook for legal nurse consultants reflected this growth. Business is utilizing legal nurse consultants included: firms specializing in personal injury, medical malpractice and general litigation law as well as insurance companies and corporate legal departments.”
During 1999, salary for a legal nurse consultant was reported to be:
Entry level: $28,000-$38,000
Mid level: $41,000-$46,000
Executive: $50,000 and up
In Boston, the actual salary rate scheme for initial consulting ranges from $100 to 150 per hour per contract.
1 — Registered nurse 60K – 71K; part-time
2 — Paralegal 41K – 48K; part-time
3 — Grant/Proposal Writer 44K – 58K; full-time
4 — Business development Associate/subcontract 49K – 89K; part-time
5 — Accountant I
41K – 50K; part-time (Salary Wizard, 2007)
To look carefully into the trend of the profession in terms of future demands for this profession;
The following identifies various fields of specialization needed in the Legal Nurse
Consultant profession and which field of specialization is more in demand:
Types of cases on which legal nurse consultants are qualified to consult.
Martin (2002) explains distinctions between the consulting historian and testifying historian, noting that although both “experts” possess professional expertise, their roles typically emphasize different capabilities. Consulting historians, traditionally hired for their analytical and investigative l skills, serve as historical detectives. These experts can efficiently navigate both the courthouse basement and the World Wide Web. They possess the ability to the “develop, execute, and report on a focused and systematic research plan is crucial to the consulting historian.” testifying historian, however possesses exceptional presentation skills and a professionally recognized mastery of the particular subject matter. He (Martin, 2002)
Scope of practice of the legal nurse consultant. Litigation Process -Pre litigation phase of a lawsuit, Phases of Litigation, Alternative dispute resolution Variables that affect who wins, Tort reform measures instituted at the state level.
Theories of Liability and defense used in medical- related cases.
Intentional torts / Negligence / Strict liability / Implied warranties of merchantability and fitness / Representation / Categories of common plaintiff allegations used in medical malpractice cases.
Anatomy of Personal Injury, Products Liability Environmental and Workers Compensation Cases. Products liability / Environmental cases / Work-related injuries / General personal injury and medical malpractice.
Screening Medical-Related Cases, the significance of screening / Persons who screen of a malpractice cases / legal elements of a malpractice cases / Factors that affect initial screening opinions of attorneys and insurance companies / What the legal nurse consultant needs to screen a case/Potential defendants/principles of screening / screening form / Plaintiff alert situation / Cases plaintiff attorneys frequently reject — Comprehensive Case Evaluation Strategies and Report Writing Techniques. Steps for evaluating malpractice and medical-related cases. / Report writing-malpractice and other medical related cases.
Detecting Tampering in a medical record. Purpose of the medical record in the courtroom / Persons who can detect tampering / Implications of tampering / Tampering alert signals / Tampering detection techniques / the legal nurse consultants response to suspected tampering or alteration / the role of the forensic document examiner / Working effectively with the forensic document examiner / the forensic document examiners tools, techniques and capabilities / the tort of intentional spoilation.
How to Research Medical-Related Cases. Information available at a library / selecting the best source of information / Finding information / Choosing a database vendor. / Information brokers / Document delivery / Terms the legal nurse consultant should know.
Standards of Care. Sources indicative of Standards of Care / Obtaining Standards of care in trial to prove adherence to or deviations from Standards of Care. / Analyzing policies and procedures of the defendant healthcare facility — Manage Care Litigation. Legal theories / legal defenses / potential defenses/accreditation — Helping Attorneys with Discovery Methods of discovery / Guidelines for drafting interrogatories and request for production / Types of interrogatories directed to defendants / Types of requests for production of documents and taangible items directed to defendants / Types of interrogatories directed to plaintiffs. / Types of requests for production of documents and tangible items directed to plaintiffs.
Role of Nurse as Testifying Expert- Role of testifying expert / Communicating with your attorney-client / Preparing for disposition and trial / What to expect at desposition and trial / strategies for testifying
Working with Testing experts.
Sources for locating testifying experts / Brokering testifying expert for law firms / Working effectively with testifying experts / Assessing qualifications potential testifying experts. / Communicating with potential testfying experts. / Types of testifying experts used in medical-related cases. / Fees for locating expert witnesses.
Formulation and Negotiation of Contracts. Contract / common clauses / contract writing/negotiating strategies — Legal and Ethical Issues. Liability issues / conflicts of interest / Attorney-client privilege — Developing Marketing strategy. Elements of effective marketing / Competitive strategies/fees — Techniques for Interviewing Prospects. Preparation / Interview concepts / closing / Evaluation of performance.
I will continued
Assessing Medical Records and Analyzing the Case
Identify, locate, review and interpret relevant medical records, hospital policies and procedures, other documents and Medical and Nursing Malpractice Cases
Cases involving the professional negligence of a healthcare provider or the negligence of healthcare facility, such as a hospital or HMO. Every specialty of nursing and medicine is risk for medical and nursing malpractice.
General Personal Injury Cases
Nonprofessional negligence cases, such as: Premises liability cases (e.g., slip and fall in a grocery Store)
Auto accident cases
Liquor liability cases
Railroad litigation cases
Products Liability Cases
Cases involving the liability of manufacturers and sellers of a product to buyers, users are even bystanders who allege damages or Injuries as a result of a defective product, India
Medical device and drug-related cases, such as cases involving:
NOM-indical device cases, such as cases relating to:
Motor vehicles, automobiles and automobile parts
Cigarettes and cigarette lighters
Machinery and equipment
Childrens toys and products
Electromagnetic fields (e.g., cellular telephones) pi Food
Personal care products
Consumer products (e.g., appliances)
Toxic Torts and Environmental Cases
Cases involving alleged damages or injuries resulting from the release of toxins
Into the environment, such as:
Electromagnetic fields (e.g., against.