EHR vs EMR: What’s the Difference

EHR vs EMR: What’s the Difference
Every year technological progress impacts more and more aspects of our lives, from renting an apartment or car to ordering a pizza or managing your household. Healthcare is no exception. Medical records have been significantly digitized with three types of electronic records to store patient information: EHR vs EMR vs PHR. While personal health records (PHR) are mostly used for the patient’s comfort, electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic health records (EHR) have taken doctor-patient interactions to a new level, bringing modern technologies to a centuries-old practice.

EHR vs EMR - What's the difference

Technology brought these two record-keeping solutions to the medical field, and providers had to decide which was best for their purposes: EHR vs EMR.

It’s hard to choose because the differences between the two aren’t always clear. Even tech specialists often use them as synonyms, even though there are some clear and considerable differences.

In this article, we present a clear picture of what an EMR and an EHR are, what these abbreviations stand for, what the differences are between them and how these systems make the practice of medicine more efficient.

What is an EMR

The EMR abbreviation means electronic medical record, the digital equivalent of hard copy medical charts. It is an easily accessible alternative to outdated and inconvenient analog data storage. Medical practitioners use EMRs primarily to diagnose patient problems, and this type of record has the data necessary for proper diagnosis and treatment. It includes the patient’s medical history along with previous and current treatments and prescriptions. EMRs also contain vitals like heart rate, blood pressure, height, weight and other patient information.

What is an EHR

Another digital solution for the medical industry is an EHR. EHR is short for electronic health record. It is another type of electronic chart, but it is different from an EMR.

An EHR serves the same purposes as an EMR does. However, it is not limited to just one medical practice. It offers much broader options to medical staff. EHRs have all the information contained in an EMR, allowing practitioners to collect data beyond the records of the particular health organization. It creates a medical data network where any doctor can view individual patient records, regardless of which hospital or clinic added them to the database.

Information in an EHR is shared between all the healthcare providers, including labs and profile specialists, and the database can provide the complete picture of patient's condition. Time is often a major consideration in making a diagnosis, and the use of electronic health records assures efficient collaboration between the various medical institutions involved making it easier and faster to gather necessary health data delivering a timely healthcare solution.

Benefits of EHR and EMR

  1. Both EHR and EMR systems reduce the number of medical errors and improve healthcare by keeping information accurate and up to date
  2. Complete patient information leads to a more precise diagnosis and treatment plan
  3. Doctors have immediate access to the entire medical history of a patient, including details on allergies and other issues in an emergency
  4. Advanced tools help doctors make better decisions and work more efficiently
  5. It is a secure way to store, send and share personal information
  6. It also reduces the time needed to access patient records

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EHR vs EMR: Advantages and Disadvantages

Both the EMR medical abbreviationand the EHR one are often used interchangeably. They are very similar, but they are not the same. Let's take a closer look at both solutions to see EHR vs EMRdifferences and list some primary benefits for a better understanding.

EMRs are basically old medical charts transferred from paper to a digital format to increase data storage safety, efficiency of use and ease of accessibility. However, EMR-stored data can be accessed by a single practice, which means stored information cannot be shared with other doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, or laboratories.

EHRs are designed to

  • be shared with other health care providers
  • aid the level of care provided
  • allow for tracking additional patient information
  • help save time and energy with no duplicate tests because all lab results are in one place for example

Grounded on the latest digital advancements, EMR and EHR systems make healthcare more efficient than storing patient data on paper. While both types of records are similar, an EHR is actually the next generation of EMR.

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EHR vs EMR Implementation: Is it Difficult?

When it comes to the EMR vs EHRbattle, we should look at it from the viewpoint of healthcare service providers. The process of integrating medical software into the health center’s workflow may be challenging, but the benefits of an EMR experience are well worth it. The most critical stages are transferring all the data and monitoring the performance of the software. At first glance, it may seem to be a daunting task, but it is easily tackled with the help of a team of specialists.

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EMR/EHR Software Selection

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail, an old quote suggests. As far as planning goes, choosing the right medical software solution is probably the most time-consuming and complicated step. Since a lot depends on it, the first step in starting your own EMR or EHR project is researching EHR vs EMR vs PHR systems. Define your needs, look for growth opportunities before taking the first step, learn from other players and find the best contractors to help you with the job. The most sensible approach is to narrow down your software options once your goals are identified. Set a budget, make a prioritized list of tools and features needed, get references on potential software vendors, try out some demo versions and find the perfect fit.

EHR or EMR Development: Building Your Software

Another approach is to develop your own EHR or EMR system, which has both advantages and complications to consider. The process is quite similar to selecting software. The custom approach requires more time, more human resources and more planning, but you get a custom-tailored software solution. It will be unique and easy to use since it is designed to meet your specific requirements. Just put together a team of specialists, dig right in - and the results might surprise you!

Do You Need EHR or EMR Systems in Medical Practices?

Both EHRs and EMRs make patient care simpler, and both provide healthcare workers and patients more opportunities to manage healthcare better than outdated paper charts.

The real questions are how to decide between these two options and which one is the best choice for your needs? If your healthcare organization requires a regular exchange of information with other health providers, then an EHR is a perfect choice. It will prevent employees from making mistakes and save them time. On the other hand, if you run a self-contained clinic with an inner focus, EMR is a simple and elegant addition to your current workflow.

The best way to make a decision is to review the unique situation in your clinic to determine the needs of your business first. With more than 20 years of experience, Cprime Studios can help you figure out which system works best to fill those needs.