Electronic Medical Record vs Electronic Health Record: What’s the difference between EHR and EMR?

EHR vs EHR

Over the past few years, the healthcare industry has embraced digital transformation to put its best foot forward. Hospitals have experienced the capabilities of technology. It entirely changed the way the healthcare industry used to do business. With a few clicks, one can get informed about what the latest report reveals about their body. Here, technological advancements such as Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) also played a vital role. Interestingly, they are used interchangeably but there is a difference between EHR and EMR. But first, let’s see what they are.

What is an Electronic Medical Records (EMRs)?

The Electronic Medical Record is the digital form of a patient’s paper chart. Within these records, there are medical treatment records, diagnostic reports, and treatments by a particular surgeon, or physician of a hospital or clinic. These records are generally used within the physician’s clinic and contain documents about the patient’s medical history, lab reports, medical notes, and past or ongoing treatment procedures. These records stay in the workplace of the physician or clinic and are not accessible outside that workplace. If the patient gets referred to another clinic, these records are transferable only through hard copy. 

Key Features of EMR

  • Makes communication between physicians efficient: Medical notes, summaries, and ready templates have facilitated advanced communication between physicians.
  • Offers e-prescriptions: Doctors’ prescriptions are available in a structured format to all the stakeholders, which result in fewer errors and costly mistakes. 
  • Integrates with laboratory processes: Elimination of manual methods of reviewing clinical lab results can be cumbersome. Integration with the EMR enables the doctor to retrieve clinical lab results quickly. 
  • Can be used as a patient portal: There is a self-service option in EMR that saves valuable time. Patients can get services faster, and physicians can communicate better with the patient.

Benefits of EMR

  • A doctor receives track of patient data.
  • EMRs grant preventive medical checkups to patients.
  • Besides, physicians and patients, patient caregivers, are free from the fear of prescription or any other document loss.
  • Reveal how a patient is doing on a few parameters
  • Electronic Medical Records support informed better decision-making.
  • Patients receive reminders for checkups.
  • Increase accessibility to medical records and prescriptions.
  • Less investment on time-taking paperwork.
  • Optimized workflows enable better management of each patient who visits the particular healthcare center, hospital, or clinic. 
  • Reduce operational costs of keeping several patients’ medical records in one place.
  • Facilitates better communication between physicians, nurses, and patients.
  • Hospitals can use patient data for analysis. This may help in improving the overall health of the population in the future.
  • Protect against conflicting treatments.
  • Elimination of duplicate tests. It can be significant, especially when medical tests are costly and painful.

What Is An Electronic Health Record (EHR)?

An EHR is also a digital edition of a patient paper chart, but it includes an option to share it with all relevant stakeholders across all hospitals, health centers, and clinics that a patient has visited for a consultation or any other medical procedure. EHRs incorporate everything EMR has. The only difference is that it is accessible outside the particular hospital via document interoperability. Authorized users can share and access patient health records and data in secured exchanges, allowing health records to follow wherever patients go. These records have the capabilities to provide overall population health statistics. EHR enables physicians to communicate with other HCPs in real-time.

Apart from interoperability, Electronic Health records are customizable as per the requirements of workflows or physicians. 

Key Features of Electronic Health Record

  • Makes task management easier: It is easy to allocate tasks to the right person. There are no laggards, unlike manual processes. 
  • Easy-to-schedule appointments: With just a few clicks, patients can schedule an appointment with a physician and receive a hospital or a clinic service. There is no need to stand in a queue.
  • 24/7 access: Healthcare data generates 24×7. It never stops. To get the most out of valuable data, EHR helps.
  • Sends Notifications to Patients: EHR tracks patients’ online and offline journeys in a hospital and updates the front desk about their current status. 
  • Generates Reports: EHR can generate supporting documents for improving a patient’s overall experience.

Benefits of Electronic Health Records:

  • Errors are minimized.
  • Evidence-based care is provided to patients.
  • Patients’ health charts are easy to interpret. 
  • Streamlined sharing of information reduces duplicate data and unnecessary repetitive actions.
  • Improved access to information makes prescribing pharma drugs more reliable.
  • Upping patient engagement with healthcare services can make patients opt for better health choices and ripe benefits of preventative care.
  • Detailed information translates to more accurate diagnoses.
  • Secured patient and healthcare facility data.
  • Elevate the performance of the staff.

What is the difference between EHR and EMR?

When it comes to the difference between Electronic Health Records and Electronic Medical records, EMR is a shallow view of a patient’s past medical records, but EHR  is a  detailed report of patient health.

The difference between emr vs ehr is not just one word. It is quite significant. 

Health relates to the overall physical and mental condition of the human body. The word “health” covers a more significant area than the word “medical.” And Electronic Health Records (EHRs) have a broader scope than Electronic Medical Records (EMRs).

Electronic Health Record (EHR) Electronic Medical Record(EMR)
Built-in decision-making tools to improve health outcomes Mostly used by doctors for the diagnosis and treatment of patients
Facilitates sharing of real-time  information with other healthcare providers and hospitals The medical record does not move outside clinical or hospital
Digital version of a patient’s complete health information, from lab reports to symptoms Digital edition of a patient’s health chart
End-users of the EHR, are receptionists, physicians, billing department, medical coders, and other HCPs End-users are mainly nurses and doctors.

Conclusion

Electronic Medical Records are accessible only to limited users. On the other hand, Electronic Health Records offer patient records and health data, which increase access to improved decision support tools and overall population health data exchanges available via secure protocol to authorized parties only. Electronic Medical Records data is available in Electronic Health Records, but Electronic Health Record functions are not present in Electronic Medical Records. 

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