If you’ve been wondering what the difference is between electronic health records (EHRs) and electronic medical records (EMR), you’ve come to the right place! While many people tend to use these terms interchangeably, they are actually quite different. Let’s look at the main differences between these two records below.

Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

EHRs are digital health records that contain all of the information you would normally find in a paper chart. These records may include past medical history, progress notes, diagnosis, allergies, imaging reports, medications, and immunization dates, among other things. They may also contain insurance information and demographic data.

The main reason why many medical facilities and social services choose EHRs is because of how confidential and easy they are to share. These systems make a patient’s health information instantly accessible to authorized providers across a variety of practices and organizations. This helps to inform clinical decisions and coordinate care. An EHR can be shared with all clinicians and organizations that are involved in the patient’s care such as specialists, pharmacies, and emergency facilities.

  • A digital record of patient health information
  • A streamlined method of sharing updated, real-time information among patients and their physicians
  • Allows for the patient’s medical information to move with them
  • Access to tools that the provider can use to help them make decisions

Electronic Medical Records (EMRs)

EMRs typically refer to everything you would find in a paper chart. This may include a patient’s medical history, medications, diagnosis, immunization dates, and even allergies. While these records work well within the actual practice itself, they can be limited because they do not travel easily outside of the practice. In fact, many medical facilities have to print out the medical record and mail it to other providers to see. Some important things to remember about EMRs include:

  • A digital version of a medical chart
  • Not designed to be shared outside of the individual practice
  • Mainly used by medical providers for diagnosis and treatment
  • The patient record does not easily travel outside of the practice

The Benefits of EHRs

While an EHR contains all of the same elements of an EMR, there are many benefits to incorporating EHRs into your practice. Some of the benefits of switching to an EHR include:

  • EHRs Are Very Secure – Unlike traditional paper records, an EHR will allow you to send confidential patient information to specific members of your team without having to worry about strangers gaining unauthorized access.
  • Secure To Send & Share Information – The patient data you share with other parties, such as medical specialists, must be safeguarded to ensure criminal hackers don’t walk away with critical patient information. Unless proper safety measures are put into practice, your patient may experience identity theft and fraud.
  • Accessible Patient Portal – When you have the ability to offer your patients access to a patient portal, they will be able to access their own confidential information from the comfort of their own home.
  • Information Available in Emergencies – Another perk of EHRs is it allows critical patient data to be made present in the event of an emergency. If you are rushed to the ER after a car accident, the emergency room doctors will be able to access your full medical history right away.
  • E-Prescribing – A major benefit of EHRs is that they allow certified professionals to write electronic versions of traditional prescriptions.

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