Legal Nurse Review Explained

Legal Nursing is defined as a registered nurse with specialized knowledge and experience in nursing as well as education and experience in medical-legal issues. These professionals assist in providing direction on a file through their knowledge, education and experience. The Legal Nurse will interpret the information in the records, provide insight and education to the referral source and develop a report designed to mitigate the claim.

To develop a defense strategy the Legal Nurse may employ any or all of the following activities:


Why should I use a nurse review vs a physician review?

Ultimately, the choice of which service to use depends on how you wish to use the information. Legal Nurses testify as Legal Nurses—not clinical experts.  A Legal Nurse will testify as to her credentials and what strategies and standards were used to develop the report. The Legal Nurse will cite well credentialed sources for the information inthe report.

The major differences between physician review and nurse review include:

  • Physician review is a more narrow review and focuses only on the specific question that has been posed. Legal Nurse Review is holistic and will provide a comprehensive review of all information provided for review. In this way the Legal Nurse Review is oriented deeper dive.
  • Nurses can be highly skilled at translation of complex medical issues into layman’s terms.
  • While both services are billed at an hourly rate nurse review is less costly with a greater level of detail.
  • Physicians may testify as clinical experts; Legal Nurses will testify regarding a review of records, identification of anomalies in relation to those records, standards of care, and comment on practical aspects of the injury circumstances to challenge or affirm credibility and causality.

Referral sources may want to consider a Legal Nurse Review when there is a question of causality or relatedness of the injury of illness. Legal Nurse Review is also appropriate when there is suspected excessive or duplicative care and in case or suspected malpractice.

For more detailed information on Legal Nurse Review you can view our recent webinar on Legal Nurse Reviews and Medical Cost Projections.

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