The Benefits of Medical Records Retrieval Outsourcing


From cases involving car crashes to employee termination disputes, there are countless reasons for legal professionals to require access to a client’s medical, employment, financial, and other records. What’s more, these documents often form the building blocks of a solid case. Yet, obtaining every single record and organizing it in a streamlined fashion requires a significant investment in time, money, and effort that could be dedicated to case strategy and billable tasks.

Instead of spending internal resources on document retrieval and collection, many firms outsource medical record retrieval instead.

But what exactly is record retrieval, and what does it mean to outsource it? Today, we’ll take a look at the ways that outsourcing medical record retrieval can help you increase productivity and efficiency. 

What is Medical Records Retrieval Outsourcing?

Retrieving clients’ health records can prove difficult.1 Patients often face unexpected hurdles such as:

  • Being unable to reach the records department
  • Having to deal with long processing times of over 30 days
  • Prohibitive costs range up to several hundreds of dollars depending on record length
  • Being given different information from person to person, or from a representative versus a form or email

When a patient needs their health records for legal reasons, they need it fast. It’s most common to request medical records in a personal injury case, but that isn’t the only scenario where a person may need their medical information for legal purposes.

Needless to say, someone dealing with a legal battle doesn’t need the additional stress of retrieving medical records. That’s why this duty often falls on a patient’s attorney.

This is where medical records retrieval outsourcing comes in. Hunting down medical documents is an exhausting process, and most attorneys already have their plate full with other strategic aspects of the case. Instead of holding the burden of record retrieval, you can outsource it to a third-party entity. 

Record retrieval services

The Benefits of Medical Records Retrieval Outsourcing

When you outsource any part of legal work, you’re hiring someone else to handle a portion of  the matter on your behalf. There are a number of benefits to be had in outsourcing processes like medical records retrieval.

Enhanced Efficiency

When you outsource records retrieval to another team, you’re leaving the matter with a group that can dedicate all of their time and effort to finding what you need. This means they’ll be able to track things down and organize them faster than otherwise possible with internal resources.

More Time for Strategic Case Work

If you have to dedicate a chunk of your time retrieving medical records, you’re shaving away hours that you could have spent on other, more strategic parts of preparing your case. By outsourcing records retrieval, you get those hours back, and you can immediately reinvest them in those crucial parts.

Potential Drawbacks to Keep Your Eye On

Of course, this isn’t to say litigation service outsourcing is without potential drawbacks.2 There are a number of concerns that can end up surfacing. If you’re aware of the potential risks, you can help mitigate them. 

Quality Control

Every time you outsource something, you’re putting the responsibility of upholding your practice into another company’s hands. Even if you’ve done all the vetting you can, you have no way to control other people or their work fully. You may end up with work that doesn’t reflect your brand or standards.


Working in law means you deeply understand the importance of confidentiality. However, even if you mandate confidentiality training for your outsourcing partners, that doesn’t mean they’ll hold themselves to the same high standards. That’s why working with a HIPAA compliant partner to keep PHI and PPI data safe is of utmost importance. 

Picking Your Outsourcing Partner

When you’re outsourcing medical records retrieval to a partner, they’ll be working on your behalf. To that end, you want to make sure your partner’s actions and ethics align with yours, and that you have a strong line of communication.

Here are a few of the most important things to keep in mind when choosing your partner.

  • Data security – How do they protect important files? Do they have security experts on site? Data security is even more important when handling medical documents.
  • HIPAA compliance – Of course, with the medical records retrieval process, your outsourcing partner needs a firm understanding of HIPAA compliance and other related patient confidentiality laws so they don’t make any illegal moves or breaches of privacy.
  • Communication style – You need a partner whose communication style works with yours, whether that means prompt return of messages and phone calls or concise, short messages.
  • Expertise – How well-studied are the teams you’re outsourcing your work to? Do they have the right education, credentials, and/or certifications?
  • Experience – Companies and individuals with a longer history and more experience tend to be better suited to handle any situations that might arise. 
  • Customer reviews – What do the clients that have worked with this company or individual say about their experiences? A few bad reviews may not be a red flag, but if you see entire pages of them, it’s a good sign that this partnership won’t work out.

Choosing an outsourcing partner like U.S. Legal Support ensures your standards are upheld and met with excellence. Our medical records retrieval service is SOC 2 Type 2 and HIPAA compliant, and we can also provide summary, record analysis, and record organization to cut down on time spent poring over these documents.

Other Forms of Litigation Process Outsourcing

Medical records retrieval outsourcing is just one tool in an arsenal that you can use to streamline your firm’s workload.

These days, more and more legal professionals choose to outsource additional processes to other individuals or companies to free up more time for strategic work and billable tasks. Entire businesses exist to handle legal process outsourcing, and freelance attorneys and lawyers can have a hand in helping out, too. While not everything can be outsourced, many of the administrative tasks that keep your firm running can be. This may include:

  • Remote deposition support 
  • Legal document translation services
  • Document review and scanning
  • Legal research 
  • Drafting of briefs and pleadings

If you want to maximize returns by outsourcing parts of your business, figure out what areas of your business could be delegated to free up additional time and resources. From there, you can decide what to start.

Should You Outsource Medical Records Retrieval?

Ultimately, the answer to this question lies in your hands. Before deciding whether or not to engage in medical record retrieval outsourcing, ask yourself a few questions.

  • Will this help you streamline your work?
  • Will this benefit your clients?

If so, medical records retrieval outsourcing may be the option for you. Just be certain to always vet your partner choices thoroughly before locking anything in.

This is where U.S. Legal Support can help. We offer expert litigation support services so your firm can focus on the most crucial parts of your cases. Our teams are highly trained in matters of communication, security, and confidentiality. With us, you’ll be in good hands.

If you have any further questions, you can reach out to us at any time to learn more.


  1. Forbes. The Unfortunate Truth About Getting Your Medical Records.
  2. Forbes. The Essentials of Outsourcing.
  3. American Bar Association. 5 tips to avoid ethical landmines when outsourcing law office work.
Julie Feller
Julie Feller
Julie Feller is the Vice President of Marketing at U.S. Legal Support where she leads innovative marketing initiatives. With a proven track record in the legal industry, Juie previously served at Abacus Data Systems (now Caret Legal) where she played a pivotal role in providing cutting-edge technology platforms and services to legal professionals nationwide.

Editoral Policy

Content published on the U.S. Legal Support blog is reviewed by professionals in the legal and litigation support services field to help ensure accurate information. The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice for attorneys or clients.