EHR vs EMR: What’s the difference?
EHR and EMR are commonly used acronyms that are sometimes incorrectly used interchangeably. EHR stands for electronic health records and EMR stands for electronic medical records.
The EMR is the actual record, while the EHR is made up of so much more. Technically, the EMR came before the EHR, as the first electronic records were truly medical records, designed to be used within a medical practice. As healthcare systems and technology has evolved, EHR has become a much more commonly used acronym.
EHR vs EMR: Electronic Medical Records
Electronic medical records are the digital form of the paper charts that were used in the past. An electronic medical record contains the past medical history, medications, visit summaries, demographic and insurance information etc.
GET EHR RESEARCH & KNOWLEDGE RIGHT TO YOUR INBOX
Covering the key issues faced by businesses selecting and implementing EHR.
The EMR is contained within a medical practice setting, and works well for operations within the practice. However, electronic medical records do not have the capability to travel outside the practice easily. Typically, the record would need to be printed out to leave the office. When the information needs to be shared outside the practice, it is almost as if you are using paper charts.
EHR vs EMR: Electronic Health Records
Electronic health records do much more than the electronic medical record. The EHR provides agile information that can be shared across practices and specialties, connecting information from all facets of the patient care. EHRs are designed to be accessible by all professionals involved in a patient’s care, from the physicians, to nurses, to laboratories and even the patients themselves.
The sharing of information is done in a secure way, ensuring patient privacy and confidentiality. The secure sharing of a patient’s information allows for enhanced communication and healthcare coordination, allowing for a more comprehensive approach to healthcare.
For example, if a physician orders a complete blood count for his patient, the order is sent electronically to the laboratory. Then, the laboratory completes the lab workup, and is able to electronically input and share this information with the physician in real time. The physician is able to access this information and make an appropriate medical decision quickly.
EHR vs EMR: Why EHR?
The benefits of using an EHR system, and not simply an EMR, lie in the operations and efficiency of coordination of care and service delivery. The EHR safely and effectively stores health information and data, analyzes outcomes, allows for electronic prescribing and electronic communications, provides patient support, and increases the quality of administrative operations.
The EHR system also give the patient a greater role in their own healthcare management. The patient can access his/her own medical information, contact their healthcare provider and track their health history. Hopefully, this will lead to a more health conscious population living healthier lifestyles.
Featured white papers
EHR Selection Checklist
Over 100 actionable steps to EHR selection successDownload
EHR Selection Survival Guide
The comprehensive guide to selecting the best EHR system for your medical practice.Download
Behavioral health EHR buyers' guide
A concise guide to behavioral health EHR features, pricing and vendorsDownload
Pitching your EHR project to senior management
How to make a case for investment to C-level for an EHR project
How to initiate the EHR requirements gathering process
Learn about the initial steps in developing a requirements gathering process for your new EHR sof...
Understanding C-Level motivations for an EHR
What are senior management's focus when it comes to EHR investments?