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Legal screeners and intake for medical providers

Mobile apps aimed at non-legal service providers help them screen for legal problems for their clients.

For example there is an app specifically designed for use in medical-legal partnerships, in which users have come to a medical facility to deal with a medical problem.

The app can be used by a service provider at the clinic or hospital to screen the patient for legal issues that might be going on, and perhaps related to the health issues.

This type of software is beneficial because it provides expert knowledge and an easy-to-use fashion and it can streamline the screening process especially for those who are not experts in law.

Example of such a mobile app screener: from the Legal Aid Society of Louisville,

Legal Aid Society of Louisville (LAS) leveraged mobile technologies to develop a legal assessment tool for medical/legal partnerships that effectively screens low‐income patients for legal problems and alerts medical professionals of the need to refer patients to a legal partner for timely assistance. The “Law and Health Screening Tool” consists of an iPad application and a companion web-based survey system. It has been successfully piloted at the University of Louisville Pediatrics Children and Youth Clinic, a high-traffic urban clinic with a high poverty, diverse patient population.

Access Innovation - medical legal screener alert screen

The tool has four main functions:

  1. A “law and health survey,” which parents/guardians of patients complete using a tablet. This is a quick legal screen meant to be easily completed by parents while waiting to be seen at the clinic. The survey uses question branching, so that the response to one question determines the next question posed.
  2. An “alert” function, which electronically notifies MLP staff when a survey response indicates a possible health-related legal need. MLP staff may then retrieve contact information from the administrative website for follow-up.
  3. A “resource” function, whereby a “yes” response to certain questions triggers an offer of a relevant resource, such as information about utility assistance, foreclosure prevention services or free tax-preparation assistance and the earned income tax credit.
  4. A data collection and reporting function, which aggregates survey answers for reporting and monitoring purposes. These metrics provide insight into the legal needs of the clinic’s patient population and how MLP resources might be tailored to address them effectively.

The final report from LSC-TIG is here: TIG 11094: LAS Medical Legal Partnership App

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