IT'S ALL FREE! Hyperlinking

Has this every happened to you?  An attorney sent you a ton of electronic medical records on disks from which you've created a medical chronology or summary.  You're now on the phone with your client who asks you to look at a specific page and you're having trouble locating it because of the electronic medical records format.  A time saving solution to prevent this problem is by hyperlinking the electronic file to your report.

You probably know about internet hyperlinks.  You click on a link (short for hyperlink) and it takes you to a particular web page.  However, the type of hyperlinking that I'm referring to is the creation of hyperlinks to the files on your own computer or firm network.  Linking makes it very easy to find the exact page in electronic medical records that you need.

Here's how to start:

  • Save the electronic medical records to your hard drive.  The records will need to be in PDF format, the usual format for such records.

  • Open the chronology or summary that you created in Microsoft Word.  I'm going to use a chronology as an example.

  • Open the PDF document that you're going to link and find the correct page.

  • In your chronology, create another column to the right of your current table. 

  • Place your cursor in this column for your first entry and type in the page number of the PDF document that relates to your entry. 

  • Highlight the page number.

  • In Word 2007 or above, go to Insert, Hyperlink.

  • Scroll to the PDF file that you want to link to and click on it.

  • Press OK.

  • You've just created a link to your file that will look something like this example, which has links to two different pages. Note: The hyperlinks in the example won't work if you click on them; the photo is just to show you what a report would look like.

    sample links

    To test your link, hold the Ctrl key down while you click on the link.  The document will open up to its first page.  Go to the page number listed in your chronology and you'll view the exact page that you need.

    Before you print the chronology for your attorney, remember that outside attorneys won't be able to access your computer files.  Therefore, delete the Links column, save the file under a new name, and print it for the attorney.  If your attorney has access to your files (say, through a law firm network), keep the column. 

    While this method seems like it has many steps, it's actually quite easy to do.  It also takes less time than trying to locate specific pages of electronic records.  However, if you want an even easier method, consider using CaseMap to create chronologies.  It links to the exact page of electronic medical records with the click of a mouse.

    ...Katy Jones