Malpractice is most commonly associated with attorneys and is something all attorneys try to avoid. Malpractice can also impact other professional services practices. Whatever your professional – Practice Management software can help thereby saving you time and money.
Among law firms, a study in Canada showed a trend of more claims, more complex claims, rising defense costs and claims that are more costly to resolve. U.S. studies are likely showing the same thing.
Some of the biggest malpractice issues faced by the attorneys are missing dates because the appointment wasn’t entered in the attorney’s calendar, a lack of communication with the client resulting in the attorney not having the information needed in a timely manner, and a perceived lack of responsiveness due to poor case management. These same factors probably apply to most professional services firms.
The effective use of Practice Management software can help you reduce your risks.
It is important to document your communications and client phone calls and emails. Attach emailed and scanned documents and messages directly to the case file for your own documentation purposes, as well as for quick reference as you manage the case. Monitor case development by using these features to keep an eye on what is going with a case. By using the specific features available in your software program this becomes easy so when the client calls you can respond quickly. Taking time to communicate case status or the effects of a settlement is important to client satisfaction and the reduction of complaints. With the use of your software you have the information to communicate case status and to document what you did. If there is a complaint you have the documentation to show what you did and when. This type of information is often enough to smoothly resolve a complaint.
Time Management is making sure you don’t miss important dates and that you let the client know the dates. Whether you need to track court dates, statute of limitations dates or other filing deadline, Practice Management Software can help you avoid missing dates by showing you at a glance what’s due and when. Some programs have court rules programmed into them so you can put a start date and all deadlines will be “automatically” added to your calendar. With reminders you have time to prepare properly. by synchronizing with your smart phone or tablet you can see your real time calendar and schedule while you are out of the office. Setting court appointments while standing with the judge and opposing counsel will allow you to ascertain one another’s first availability for the next step in your case. You can schedule automatic reminders and confirmations so you know what’s going on on a daily/ weekly/ monthly basis.
Having all of the information in one place can help protect you – and your firm – from malpractice issues. As a side benefit, having all of your case information is located in one place lets you work more efficiently as you don’t have to spend time searching. This lets you do more work and/or leave the office earlier and enjoy life.