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Does Your Case Management Program Do It All?
In my experience with various programs, starting when the PC first
available, no database, no matter how much I customized it, did everything
or needed to handle all my cases. As I added more and more fields
forms/records to display the information, the database became unwieldy.
after all that work on complex cases, the database stored the results
in a particular
client’s record, so making parts of the information available
for other similar cases required tedious, time consuming cutting and
I found that keeping a summary in Word or WordPerfect for more complex
had drawbacks, in that one could not search readily across many such
or easily manipulate the data.
After years of searching for a database equivalent of a theory of
I came to the realization that just as in physics, there was none
that stood the test
of time. I then focused on adjunct programs that worked to expand
management database, rather than to endlessly redesign my case management
program in attempts to include everything.
My new approaches allow me to save data to the client’s record
and also to other
clients’ records or to my general storage and retrieval system
that I described in the
first article of the series. It also gives me the flexibility to use
different programs for
different needs, depending on the complexity of the issues and evidence.
cases the case management database alone works just fine.
In this article I describe a handy, inexpensive, easy to use database
bridges the gap between outliners and relational databases.
myBase Desktop Edition
MyBase is an inexpensive free-form database available from Wjjsoft:
It “creates full-text searchable databases
and organizes information in the tree-structured outline form, along
of capturing information from a variety of data sources such as texts,
images, documents, spreadsheets, emails,” etc. It is so easy
to use, you can get
right down to it after downloading the program.
I use it for many different purposes, including a complex remodeling
project where I
want to store the architect’s designs, bills, webpages from
my research into fixtures,
etc. I use it to store the ideas, contacts, files, and text that go
into issues for
getMedLegal Magazine. For my law practice, I use it to store outlines
kinds of cases (e.g., workers’ compensation, Social Security)
and case notes for
clients. I also use it to store procedures and forms for the QME process,
depositions and letters addressing apportionment, for data on the
medical information, checklists for settlement, and the like. I keep
a button on my
launch bar that has a menu of the various myBase databases. I keep
databases in the same directory tree, for ease of backup to a remote
database, with links in clients’ and other directories so I
can open a database in
a click or two.
Unlike most outlining programs, myBase lets you use several windows,
with the outline on the left and the text or webpage windows on the
right, and another window to view attachments and links. The user
manual is in the form of a database, and a handy sample database reveals
the many possibilities, including web capturing, inserting an Excel
spreadsheet, and rich text editor which accepts images:
(Click image to enlarge)
Suggested Uses for Case Management
I prepared a WC Case Analyzer using resources from getMedLegal.com
the forms page (http://www.getmedlegal.com/Forms.asp)
and Quick Reference
as well as issues lists I had
collected over the years. I saved this in a folder labeled “WC
Outlines,” and when I
open a new case, I use the “save a copy” command and save
it with the client’s name in a folder labeled “WC Clients.”
(Click image to enlarge)
I put a link to this file in the client’s
database record so I can open it with one click
and add notes or other items. Because you can copy and paste the outline
any important research or other data can be moved easily to another
database. Conversely, data can be moved from a general outline to
I also keep outlines of medical and AMA Guides tidbits from our legal
research, reports I receive, etc., and procedures to quickly check
or go through the new and complicated panel QME process. I add sample
forms, addresses, whatever is needed to get the project done quickly
to look in many different places for what I need. My apportionment
me save time crafting letters or deposition questionnaires. I keep
links to decisions
as they come down on the various issues.
The bottom line is that uses for myBase are limited only by your imagination.
decide to try it for free, I suggest you use the sample database to
explore the many
ways you can use the program and the various kinds of data you can
myBase. In this final screenshot, you will see how I pasted in a rating
getMedLegal.com and a bunch of spreadsheet cells showing how much
owed, in the settlement section of my case analyzer:
(Click to enlarge)
Coming In the next issue: More
Software for Office Productivity.