Discovery NP Legal Consultants is a consultation service comprised of a growing team of 10 nurse practitioner consultants to the legal profession with a collective breadth and individual depth of specialty clinical backgrounds. The team assists medical malpractice attorneys who take cases for the plaintiff to understand the clinical complexity and nuances of their case so they can build an airtight case to settle or present and win at trial. They offer collaborative and highly specialized consultation services behind-the-scenes to screen the case for merit and assist with pre-litigation and litigation, including organizing and presenting the medical record to the expert witnesses. Nurse practitioners are medical providers who function similarly to physicians in the United States, and in many states can function independently of physicians and can even own their own clinical practice. Like physicians, nurse practitioners specialize in all areas of medicine. Discovery NP Legal Consultants specialists cover a broad range, including surgery, emergency room, obstetrics, anesthesia, pediatrics, neonatal care, orthopedics, neurosurgery, cardiology and cardiac surgery, pulmonology, aesthetics, among others. As the team functions under one roof, their HIPAA-compliant services allow their interdisciplinary and multi-specialty team to collaborate behind-the-scenes together under one retainer per case in a way that no other legal nurse consulting service can. This results in fewer “research” hours billed to the client because each team member knows their specialty inside and out. Clients also receive faster production of work products, as they can divide and conquer with the modern collaboration tools available to them. Their work product is versatile, concise, usable, and robust. They also believe in giving ownership of the raw, editable work product to the attorney, so that he or she can adapt it and use it how they see fit.
Why is Discovery NP Legal Consultants Our Recommended Legal Nurse Consultants Company?Discovery NP Legal Consultants are our recommended national legal nurse consultants and nurse practitioner consultants. They provide non-testifying nursing and medical consulting services to attorneys who take medical malpractice cases for the plaintiff. They have brought to the table a unique process and approach to their consulting.
They established a round table of experts, each specializing in a specific area of the medical field allowing them to collaborate on every case they take on. What does this mean? No wasted time researching Medical collaboration on each case A team of experts with knowledge that is unobtainable by the average individual nurse consultant A single bill to one entity no matter how many experts had input on the case Simple flat-rate hourly billing Higher Revenue for your firm Try out Discovery NP Legal Consultants on your next case and we can assure you will be impressed by the output and the process. They are the only team of U.S. based nurse practitioner consultant to the legal profession offering comprehensive behind-the-scenes remote consulting services.
Leadership of Discovery NP Legal ConsultantsElisa Collins is the primary founder and chief executive officer at Discovery NP Legal Consultants. Elisa has been an RN Since 2003 and, as an RN worked primarily in stepdown-ICU and inpatient cardiology. Elisa went on to obtain her master’s in nursing in 2013 and has worked in that capacity as an outpatient provider of sleep medicine, weight loss and geriatric wellness. Since becoming an NP, Elisa developed an interest in providing nurse consulting services for the legal profession and began providing those services in 2018. Elisa developed the versatile, cloud-based work product that is used at Discovery NP Legal Consultants and is the primary mentor, educator, and coordinator of services at Discovery NP Legal Consultants. In 2021, after forming the first online public community of nurse practitioners and advanced practice registered nurse consultants to the legal profession, Elisa recruited a team of 10 of these clinicians including advanced practiced registered nurses to offer a broader range of services to her clientele and to expand services nationwide. Elisa lives with her husband in Boise, Idaho, and cares for her mother-in-law and for her two children, one of whom is medically fragile. The family enjoys vacationing when they get the chance, and watching movies together. Elisa also has a master’s in psychology with an emphasis in life coaching and she and her husband are currently co-authoring a personal development self-help book. Elisa enjoys the freedom and flexibility that consulting for the legal profession has afforded.
Clinically, Like the MD, the Nurse Practitioner:
- is a peer with physicians
- engages in differential diagnosis
- orders diagnostic tests
- assigns medical diagnoses
- writes prescriptions for medications and treatments
- is familiar with evidence-based treatment regimens
- has access to provider-only literature and publication databases
- is just that… a “practitioner”
- has outpatient experience critical to personal injury and outpatient medmal analysis
In contrast to the average MD consultant to the legal profession, the NP-CLP
- bills like a nurse, but thinks like a physician
- EACH of our nurse practitioners are US-based and obtained her license in the United States
- is intimately familiar with the anatomy of a hospital patient medical chart–they know just what they are looking at and where to look for trouble. We read the nursing notes where accountability goes up to the hospital!
- has worked “in the trenches” at the hospital as an RN, often for many years and in many departments
- regularly delegates to RNs, LPNs, MAs, CNAs, and others
Like the RN legal nurse consultant (LNC),
- often has a broad range of clinical experience
- can get you and your staff up to speed on relevant medical terminology and acronyms
- are teachers at heart, and can teach you the anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology that will help you understand and be able to fully and clearly explain to the judge and jury–your client’s case
In contrast to the average RN legal nurse consultant (LNC), the NP-CLP
- is intimately familiar with mid-level roles–where and how hers crosses and overlaps with the PA’s or the MD’s role.
- is Masters- or Doctorate-level prepared (2-6 more years of formal education)
- is, by virtue of that higher education, more highly experienced in clear, concise, and purposeful writing
- is, by virtue of the focus of graduate-level work, well-versed in the research process and in analyzing and evaluating evidence-based practice
- is more likely to have held leadership roles as an RN such as participating in department educator roles
- is more likely to have worked outpatient, and performs diagnostic special testing, etc.
How are your services different from an expert witness?
Behind-the-scenes consultants cannot be deposed or cross-examined. Their work product is not discoverable. This means they can safely provide you with both the plaintiff and the expected defense’s perspectives so you can adequately prepare for trial. Because we are non-testifying, we can also help with things like interactions with fact witnesses, including interrogatories and questions for deposition and cross-examination. Collaboration with our multi-specialty and interdisciplinary colleagues is our signature method of consultation, which is something that your expert witness certainly cannot do. We can also save you thousands of dollars on your expenses for expert witnesses because our services allow you to deliver the medical record “pre-packaged” in an organized way to reduce your expert witnesses’ billable time spent sorting, sifting, organizing, tabulating, and revisiting disorganized piles. Most importantly, our billing rate is about 1/3 the billing rate of your average expert witness with similar credentials.
What is an NP-CLP?
NP-CLP stands for nurse practitioner consultant to the legal profession. We are consultants with a clinical background as nurse practitioners. NP-CLP is not a new role; nurses (known as “legal nurse consultants” or LNCs) have been assisting medical malpractice attorneys with their cases for decades, and some of those nurses have been nurse practitioners. Until recently, there was no distinguishing title for an NP who worked as an LNC. This made it difficult for attorneys to distinguish the qualifications of one potential consultant from another. In the currently-unregulated industry of legal nurse consulting, the term NP-CLP was coined to help distinguish LNCs who hold the NP credential from those who do not. The terminology also helps make it clear what the NP-CLP does (i.e., he or she consults for the legal profession and his or her expertise is as a nurse practitioner.) NP-CLP is a title, rather than a credential. The NP-CLP’s credentials are generally an active advanced practice registered nurse licensure in their state and national clinical certification as a nurse practitioner from an authoritative board or body. What’s most important and unique to those bearing this title, is the decades of experience in the trenches that your NP-CLP will bring to the table having worked usually inpatient and outpatient, very often in leadership roles, as well as in the role of the nurse and as the provider.
How is an NP-CLP different from an LNC?
The vast majority of nurses providing consultation services to medical malpractice attorneys hold an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing and experience as a registered nurse. A nurse practitioner is much more qualified than a registered nurse. Having completed an additional 2 to 4 years of formal nursing education, the NP is a licensed practitioner. NPs are either Master’s- or Doctorate-prepared. With this additional education, NPs obtain an additional advanced practice license and certification to allow them to function autonomously or independently in the clinical world; NPs do not need to work “under” a physician in most states. An NPs role is much more aligned with that of a physician than a nurse; a nurse practitioner can prescribe and diagnose all on his/her own. Nurse practitioners think like physicians, but bill more like nurses. An NP is much more qualified to speak to the standard of care for their physician peers than is a nurse, whose opinions regarding the physician’s standard of care are based on observations and not on their own experiences as a provider. In addition, the graduate-level education that NPs undergo to attain their credential also prepares them to analyze relevant research with a critical eye and to produce focused concise written work product.
What is a Consultant to the Consultants?
Our team of specialty NPs cover a broad range of clinical expertise among them. Even so, there are times when we could “phone a friend” who knows the answer, to save our time and your money. So our team also includes additional specialists who have made themselves available for phone consultations or “second look” input on isolated clinical elements of a plaintiff’s case. We call these experts “Consultants to the Consultants” and we have established professional arrangements with each of them that allow us to reach out to them in a HIPAA-compliant way whenever needed. It’s an extra layer of support and knowledge that we can tap into, legitimately, when needed. These Consultants to the Consultants do not take on the brunt of the casework, but they do contribute their opinion as subject matter experts when the situation requires it. Bringing their hat into the ring does not require any additional retainer of our clients.
Do your experts testify at trial?
We do provide expert witness location services and have access to some databases to help you locate, and we can assist you to vet an appropriate and qualified testifying witness. However, since our work product is generated in a collaborative environment, and since we desire to provide you with all the benefits of a behind-the-scenes expert, our consultants are essentially disqualified as being able to testify for you at trial. However, you will find the way we organize your medical records and prepare them for analysis by your expert witness will save you thousands of dollars on the testifying expert witness services.
What types of services do you offer?
Here are some of the services that NP-CLPs can help you with: Screen cases for merit Define the applicable standards of care Define deviations from, and adherences to, the standards of care Assess documentation for evidence of damages or injuries Identify causation of damages or injuries Organize medical records Summarize, translate and interpret medical records Identify and recommend potential defendants Search for and analyze research studies relevant to the case Identify and review relevant medical records, hospital policies and procedures, other essential documents, and other tangible items Expand the attorney’s medical library NPs can access provider-only evidence-based care resources that RNs do not have access to Interview clients, key witnesses, and experts Consult with healthcare providers Identify types of testifying experts needed Locate and interface with expert witnesses Communicate with potential testifying experts Assist in the vetting process of expert witnesses Analyze and compare expert witness reports and other work products Service as a liaison between the attorney and healthcare providers, testifying experts, etc. Prepare interrogatories for witnesses Assist with various legal documents Assist in demonstrative exhibit preparation such as the production of illustrative physiological or pathophysiological models Assist with deposition and trial preparations Review, analyze and summarize deposition(s) Attend and participate in deposition and trial hearings Develop written reports for use as study tools by the attorney Generate various reports from the data extracted from the medical record
What medical malpractice areas do you offer consultation services for?
The best place to see our updated list of specialty providers is on our website, but here are some of the exciting specialties we can cover: Operating Room/Surgery-related Malpractice (we have a first-assist NP) Emergency Room Malpractice (our NPs have a contracted ER physician at their disposal) Obstetrics Malpractice (we have an OB NP and a certified nurse-midwife [CNM]) Anesthesia-related Malpractice (we have a certified registered nurse anesthetist [CRNA]) Pediatric Critical Care Malpractice (we have a pediatric critical care NP with over 40 years of experience) Neonatal Intensive Care Malpractice (we have neonatology NP with over 16 years of experience as a nurse and as an admitting provider in the NICU) First Responder (we have an NP who is still certified as a paramedic) Aesthetics (we have an NP who owns an aesthetics practice) Intensive Care (we have several NPs with both RN and provider experience managing intensive needs of critical care patients) Long Term Care (we have NPs who have served in management roles within nursing homes) Cardiology (heart and vascular system) Pulmonology (lungs)
How do your services work?
At Discovery NP Legal Consultants, our nurse practitioner consultants to the legal profession function on a retainer that is based on a three-tiered assessment of the scope of your original request for the initial deliverable analysis. After you place your custom order, a specialist will reach out to you to let you know which retainer tier your request falls under covering 5hrs, 10hrs, or 15hrs of service. The specialist can collect the retainer with easy online payment. After your retainer has been collected, you can then select, we can recommend, or your case can be assigned to one of our specialty NP-CLPs who will act as a team lead for your case. This team lead may be offered one or multiple assistants (also NP-CLPs) to help them meet your specified deadline. We will then schedule the initial verbal discussion on your case, which is done via Zoom. You will be notified when our team has billed out 80% of the current retainer on the case, and you may then choose to schedule a call with your consultant to discuss the progress so far. Unless otherwise specified, each subsequent retainer will be about 50% of the initial retainer. The team will resume work on your case as soon as the account is loaded with a subsequent retainer. Once the initial consulting deliverable is complete, your team lead consultant will reach out to you to invite you or your staff to schedule a deliverable wrap-up conversation about your case. You may invite whoever makes sense to you to this discussion, including any partners, paralegals, or the plaintiff. Your team lead’s assistance with your case does not have to end there. Your NP-CLP will provide you with suggestions on additional documents you may wish to request, and we can provide discovery document collection assistance services to aid in this process. Our team can continue to provide “incident to” services on existing cases, integrating new information into the work product, up to and including deposition and trial preparation assistance in whatever non-testifying capacity makes sense for your process.
What if I already have a dedicated medical records reviewer (RN)?
No problem! An RN in the hospital will occasionally need to reach out to a provider for assistance when she reaches the limits of her credentials. With an ongoing arrangement with your firm, we can be available to your dedicated medical records reviewer as a resource for that person to save them hundreds of hours of searching. Just ask us how you can obtain access to our services a la carte or as needed.