This site is intended for health professionals only

Electronic patient records could change the culture of medical litigation

2 March 2015

Share this article

The widespread adoption of electronic patient records in health care may have significant consequences for medical litigation in the UK, according to a new paper.

The paper suggests that the ease of accessing records could lead to people hunting for evidence of medical negligence – and has potential to spark a culture of ‘electronic ambulance chasing’.

Professor Tom Marshall, from the University of Birmingham, explained: “Daytime television already advertises for potential litigants for those who suffered accident or injuries at work, it may not be long before we see adverts aimed at patients recovering from strokes, cardiovascular disease or cancers.”

Patients or lawyers requesting electronic patient records is nothing new, and is commonly used as part of the litigation process. However, Professor Marshall argues that it is now likely to affect the likelihood that litigation will be initiated in the first place.