New research found that software problems caused harm to a small percentage of patients in a test but the authors said the findings are likely below what a national study would uncover. The usability frustrations that doctors encounter with electronic health records are well known at this point but what has been less understood is the impact the software can cause to patients. EHR usability issues, in fact, may be associated with some safety events in which patients were harmed, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.The analysis discovered that patient safety reports mentioning a specific EHR contained language suggesting that the EHR may have contributed to patient harm, though from 2013 to 2016 these issues represented less than 1 percent of patient harm events.Researchers analyzed 1.735 million free-text patient safety reports from 571 healthcare facilities in Pennsylvania and another East Coast healthcare system. Only reports that used one of the top five electronic health products or vendors, and that were classified as reaching the patient with possible harm, were included.

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