Until a few years ago, Massachusetts health care practitioners were still scribbling notes to document patient care. Electronic health records (EHRs) were developed to improve care, share patient information and eliminate unclear or incorrect notes. But, according to eight recent studies, EHRs have caused stress among heath professionals and were involved in medical malpractice actions.

EHRs may not always work as intended. Electronic record documentation of patient visits to emergency rooms do not always correctly show doctor actions and examinations with their patients, according to this recently released information. In fact, there were 216 medical malpractice claims involving EHRs closed between 2010 and 2018.

EHRS may improve patient access to heath records. But only 10 percent of patients discharged from hospitals reviewed, downloaded or transmitted health information from these records. The federal government tried to increase patient access to their medical information with application programming interfaces and smartphone apps. Only a small number of patients, however, use their health care providers’ EHR patient portal to transmit data to their smartphones.

Approximately 20 percent of practitioners claim that the use and design of EHRs is involved with stress and burnout at health care facilities or offices. The design of clinical processes and the culture of these facilities were two major causes of stress and burnout among medical professionals Physician gender also played a role on levels of stress associated with EHRs and their approval and usability.

EHRs, though, can provide benefits. For example, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic utilized EMR to lower the number of opioids and inappropriate number of prescriptions across its emergency departments.

Faulty record keeping and physician burnout, among other things, may be responsible for substandard care, incorrect diagnosis and patient harm. An attorney can help gather evidence and pursue damages for health care negligence.