Injury firms see gathering medical records as a cog in the machine rather than the engine that drives the firm's performance. When evaluating the business of my law firm clients, I have found two key business metrics that directly affect the health of the business. Coincidentally, both are directly affected by the health record retrieval process.
Accepting status quo hinders innovation in this area. When I first mention these metrics to my clients, the feedback is, "We need to hire more staff to improve that." or, "That's just how long this process takes".
I am resolute that every firm can improve:
- Case capacity (concurrent #)
- Average settlement time
Effectively, I am prescribing an approach that allows the firm to do more with current resources by introducing automation. Let's address how automation in the gathering of medical records affects these two metrics and then let's look at the potential.
When I first meet with clients, they have dedicated staff focused just on the request and retrieval of paper or scanned documents. This is often accepted as simply the cost of doing business. By streaming records automatically, the firm can focus these resources toward intake and settlement negotiation. Bottom line, your firm takes more cases to settlement, earlier.
A request for paper or PDF documents takes 2-6 weeks. If you are able to stream your health records you eliminate that lead time, all of your cases are settling a month earlier on average. Apply that extra time to the next case.
Now Multiply the Two
The aforementioned metrics combine to derive the case churn rate (Case Capacity/Settlement Time). The effect of small changes to these two numbers are multiplied to have a significant impact to the firm's bottom line profit. For mid-sized firms, this equates to $Ms more per year with the same resources.