Electronic health record (EHR). Electronic medical record (EMR). While some might use the terms interchangeably, the difference between an EMR and EHR is greater than just the middle letter in their acronyms.
What is an Electronic Medical Record (EMR)?
An EMR is a digital version of a person’s paper chart or medical record. It is the information captured at a care provider’s office. It contains information provided to and gathered by a single healthcare provider, and often includes patient data, diagnosis, and treatment. While they are available electronically, EMRs are really just electronic replicas of a single care provider’s paper records.
What is the Difference Between an Electronic Health Record (EHR) and an Electronic Medical Record (EMR)?
The ability to share complete information instantly is one of the main differences between an EMR and an EHR. An EMR captures information from a single care provider, which is only available to that one care provider. However, EHRs are designed to be used by multiple care providers and healthcare organizations.
Another difference is the ability of multiple care providers to not only share patient information but to contribute to EHRs. This facilitates sharing accurate data over time. Without EHRs, patients and/or care providers would still bear the administrative burden of arranging the transfer of the medical records to another care provider or multiple care providers. The receiving care providers then bear the additional administrative steps of ensuring the new information is integrated into their copy of the patients’ records.
The EHR automates direct access to these more complete records, making it much easier to gain a full picture of a person’s health status and history. This more complete picture means there are benefits of EHRs for patients, providers, and the healthcare industry.