This study collects and critically reviews the published literature to synthesize the risk factors for client safety in residential aged care and the potential contributions of electronic health records to reducing these risks. Three major types of risk factors for client safety were identified: risk factors related to the person's health; those related to the health and aged care system serving the person and those related to human error. Multiple strategies at all levels of an aged care organization are needed to reduce risks and improve client safety. Electronic health records can be one of the effective organizational mechanisms because it improves access to better information and integrates intelligent functions to support point-of-care decision making. © 2014 The authors and IOS Press.