If you are a healthcare professional and are searching for some way to use technology in your clinical practice, or your hospital, you might have come across two terms on the internet, EMR and EHR. Even often these terms are used interchangeably, but there are some points of differences one needs to be familiar with, and it is more than the difference of one word in the abbreviation.
Now, EMR refers to Electronic Medical Records, and EHR refers to Electronic Health Records. It still does not clear many things right? There could be still much confusion about what is EMR, what is EHR, and what’s the difference between them.
Difference between EMR and EHR
So, this article aims to focus on understanding what is EMR, and EHR, and we will also talk about the points of differences between the EMR and EHR. Along with that, we will also try to understand the primary benefits of having EMR and EHR. We will try to keep it as simple as we can so that you can easily understand the terms. So, let’s begin.
So, What is EMR?
Well, as we have mentioned earlier, and you might have read earlier, the full form of EMR is Electronic Medical Records. So, when you go to some doctor or healthcare provider, you get your treatment, and along with that, you get your physical file, which contains your prescription, some reports, and more, and it’s of a single hospital or a clinic.
So, an EMR can be considered as a digital equivalent of a patient chart and medical records for a practice. A patient record would be stored electronically in a computer system. The EMR usually contains a patient history, medication treatment plans, diagnoses, medical reports, and other essential patient medical information. This makes it easier and more convenient for the healthcare provider to access and provide up-to-date information about the patient.
You can read more about EMR if you are interested, but essentially, this was a quick introduction to EMR, so that we can move on easily towards the differences.
And what is EHR?
As mentioned earlier, the full form of EHR is Electronic Health Records, and as the name says, it can be considered a digital version of your entire health history. Just imagine, if you need to go to different doctors and different hospitals, they would create different records for you, along with different prescriptions, and different medical records, and in the end, you handle a bunch of different files that you would carry hereafter.
Instead of that, just imagine EHR as putting your health information in one place. It is like the patient’s medical history maintained by multiple providers. It can contain different things, like lab reports, x-ray reports, demographic information, medications, diagnoses, and more. So, I hope that you can understand what is EHR.
Difference Between EMR and EHR
If you have read about the EMR and EHR separately, you may already have a brief idea about the subtle differences between EMR and EHR. While they might be used interchangeably, there are some points of difference that you must be careful about, and that’s what we are going to discuss here. Let’s have a look at the below table –
|Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
|Electronic Health Record (EHR)
|Maintained by only one clinic or medical practitioner.
|Maintained by multiple providers.
|Usually, information is limited to the specific practice where it’s implemented.
|Information is aggregated from multiple sources, providing a broader view of the patient’s health.
|May lack interoperability with systems from another healthcare facility.
|Designed to be interoperable, allowing sharing of information with other healthcare facilities.
|Patient access may be limited, and records may not be easily shared.
|Often provides individuals with secure access to their health information and enables sharing with other healthcare providers.
|May not be easily transferable if the patient changes healthcare provider.
|Designed for easy transferability, allowing records to move with the patient across different healthcare providers.
As you can see, the above table discusses some of the important points of differences between the EMR and EHR, and it is very much beyond the name. One of the most important differences is that the EMR is handled by a single clinician or hospital, while the EHR is maintained by multiple healthcare providers, allowing to sharing of medical records across multiple providers. It is up to you that if you want to use EMR or EHR.
You should use EMR or EHR?
We have seen what is EMR, what is EHR, and what are the points of differences between them. Still, if you are stuck on a decision about whether should you use an EMR or EHR, then there are some points to be discussed. See, if you get an EMR, it would become a platform for you, where you manage your patients, but it may not be interoperable, making it harder for even you to share the medical information, but when you get an EHR, it comes as a platform, as an all in one solution for overall patient care.
You may also get an EMR or EHR, it is up to you for what you want to provide. But always do proper research before you buy or subscribe to anything.
In this article, we talked about the difference between EMR and EHR. These are some terms that may be often used interchangeably, but there is some difference between them, and we tried to highlight that difference here. I hope that the differences are clear, and you can now make a decision. I would still recommend going into deep research for yourself, along with recommendations from your colleagues, if in case they have been using it so that you can get demonstrations and legit reviews.
FAQs related to the Difference between EMR and EHR
Ans: EMR, or Electronic Medical Records is like a digital version of patient record in a practice, or a hospital.
Ans: EHR, or Electronic Health Records is like a digital version of your entire health history.
Ans: EMR stands for Electronic Medical Records.
Ans: EHR stands for Electronic Health Records.