A study by University of Chicago researchers reported this week in Health Affairs reviewed more than 40,000 electronic health record entries over a nearly two-year period from one urban academic medical center and found providers were 2.5 times more likely to use negative patient descriptors in EHRs for Black patients than for white patients. Patients with government insurance and unmarried patients also had higher odds of negative descriptors compared with patients who had private or employer-based insurance and married patients. Notes written after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic were associated with decreased odds of having a negative descriptor in the EHR. The study looked for descriptors for difficult patients such as non-adherent or non-compliant, aggressive, agitated, angry, challenging, combative, defensive, hysterical and unpleasant. 

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