Is There Any Difference Between EHR and EMR

Often patients and medical professionals within the health care industry refer to electronic health records (EHR) and electronic medical records (EMR) interchangeably; however, these two systems actually serve somewhat different purposes. As far as EHR is concerned it is the sum total of a digital patient medical record accumulated over a period of time across different healthcare setups. Where as EMR is a digital patient medical record created at an individual healthcare setup. There is sizeable difference between the two one is at a macro level where as the other version of digital medical record is at a micro level.

The EHR (electronic health records) data can come through different community health workers, physician clinics, diagnostic labs, hospitals, pharmacies, patients and so on. It is a collection of data that, which is created, complied and shared across the entire healthcare system. It may be made up of electronic medical records (EMRs) from many locations and/or sources. A variety of types of healthcare-related information may be stored and accessed in this way. Electronic health record systems of today have a much broader range of functionality compared to early EMR’s that were used by clinicians mostly for diagnosis and treatment.

A typical EHR (electronic health records) system would include the following important features: digital patient records created across a network of healthcare setups, ability to seamlessly share information across the entire healthcare system, integration capabilities, support for PQRI automation, software that is also adaptive learning, secure portability features, integrated patient portal, no right templates, effective document/image management, voice recognition and handwriting recognition technology and meets other technical and legal requirements. There are numerous federal and state regulatory and compliance issues that you must be aware of. Having an EMR Solution that has guidelines programmed in (and is constantly updated by the vendor’s system) will keep you legally safe all year round.

An EHR (electronic health record) loaded with above features may definitely help to streamline the overall process of physician (or hospital) workflow. It can deliver unmatched benefits to doctors by way of time savings, easy storage solution, benefits of integration, timely access of patient medical records, improved quality of patient service, reduction in costs and better profit margins (ROI) for the practice. As discussed earlier EHR data is the sum total of patient medical information compiled across different healthcare setups, this aides in the overall process of diagnosis and treatment leading into better quality of patient service and patient satisfaction.

EHR has an advantage over EMR, as in being an aggregate of electronic records of health-information accumulated over time; the information being able to be transferred and accessed within the health care organization. These records would provide all the relevant medical history, medication and allergies, immunization status, laboratory test results, radiology images and billing status information of an individual or population, which would in turn enhance patient – treatment and care. Not to mention avoiding the hassle of safe-keeping papers and reports, ensuring easy storage and retrieval of health records at any given time. An added advantage is that, information can be shared and updated among attending practitioners and health organizations with ease.

EHR is bound to become one of the means of taking medical services to new heights. The word “health” is a much broader term that covers much more than the word “medical” does. The EHR’s (electronic health records) of today simply go a lot further than that of early EMR’s.