#10 Not Double-Checking Information Filled Out at Check-in Time
QUESTION: What do I need to do as a medical provider to ensure that what a patient writes about the progress during check-in is consistent with what they’re telling me during their appointment?
ANSWER: To help protect your patient’s claim and your credibility as a medical provider, take the time to carefully look over and confirm that what your patient has written is consistent with what they’ve communicated to you about their condition and progress. If you find any discrepancy, be sure to ask your patient why there is a difference in what they’ve written and what they’ve told you.
This is a critical element of your patient’s personal injury claim that you have complete control over and is one of the most important aspects of you maintaining your credibility as a medical provider.
Too often, we have seen the information a patient inputs during electronic check-in cause problems for their personal injury case. This happens when what they input when checking in doesn’t match what the patient tells the medical provider in person. An extreme example we see all too often is when the information entered by the patient doesn’t change over time — even though the chart notes clearly show the patient is improving.
We’ve seen this happen far too many times when months of self-check-in forms state the level of pain has not changed. All the while, the chart notes give a different version of how they are doing. This is a red flag and one of the primary reasons why the PIP carrier would send your patient for an IME. The difference between the self-check-in forms and the charts notes will be used by the at-fault insurance companies adjuster to offer less at settlement time.
Protecting your credibility is critical. Don’t let trying to be efficient hurt you or your patient’s claim.
As personal injury attorneys, when we evaluate whether to file a lawsuit or not, one of the key things we look for is if the chart notes are consistent. If they’re not, that can create significant challenges for a patient’s personal injury claim. Unfortunately, you can’t go back and correct this type of problem. It can only be done at the time of the appointment. The last thing you want is for your credibility to be called into question or even attacked over something that can be easily taken care of during each appointment.
If your check-in process includes having your patients input information into an electronic system before they see you, it’s important to take the time to carefully look over what was added and make sure what your patient has written is consistent with what they’re telling you. If you find any discrepancy, be sure to ask your patient why there is a difference.