Discovery Beyond Documents

How do data in electronic medical records differ from the electronic documents that we're most used to, and what does that mean for discovery? Computer expert C. Matthew Curtin relates his experience as a computer science expert in a wrongful death case that hinged on interpretation of such data. Outside and in-house counsel learn how to prepare their organizations for discovery beyond documents. This information was presented at the Medical Liability and Health Care Law Seminar for the Defense Research Institute (DRI) on March 12, 2009.

C. Matthew Curtin
Interhack Corporation

When medical liability is in question, clinical system activity and clinicians' electronic notes can be used in ways that no paper documents can. Matthew Curtin, a technologist, writer, and entrepreneur, has faced these issues as a computer expert working in litigation since the last millennium. Using examples from his practice, Curtin will show the difference between data and metadata, the kinds of information available beyond electronic versions of “documents,” and how computer science can be applied to answer important questions. Points to consider regarding records management will be offered to help organizations maintain appropriate information without allowing opposing experts the opportunity to go on fishing expeditions.

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