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What is The Difference between EHR and EMR?

Electronic health records (EHR) and electronic medical records (EMR) are the two types of digital medical record systems that are basically used for the convenient storage and management of patient medical information. While they are similar in many ways, there are some key differences between EHR and EMR that we will discuss in this post. So let’s start:



What Is EMR in Healthcare?

EMR stands for Electronic Medical Record. It is a digital version of the conventional paper medical record for storing and managing patient health information. EMRs are typically used by healthcare providers within a medical facility such as doctors, nurses, and other clinical staff, to document patient visits and track treatment plans.

EMRs contain information about a patient, including demographic information, medical history, medications, lab results, and notes from visits and consultations.

Moreover, EMRs offer several benefits to healthcare providers and patients. They can help providers access and share patient information more efficiently, reduce errors in patient care, and improve the overall quality of care. For patients, EMRs can provide a more coordinated and personalized approach to healthcare and can help them better understand their own health and treatment options.

What Is EHR in Healthcare?

Electronic health records (EHRs) are digital versions of a patient’s medical history, which are maintained by healthcare providers. EHRs contain a wide range of information about a patient’s healthcare, including medical history, diagnoses, medications, treatment plans, test results, and other important healthcare data.

EHRs are designed to be shared among various healthcare providers and organizations, allowing for more seamless communication and coordination of care.

They can be accessed by authorized healthcare providers anywhere, at any time, which makes it easier to provide timely and accurate care to patients. EHRs also enable more efficient management of patient data and can help in reducing the risk of errors and duplications in healthcare records.


4 Key Differences between EHR and EMR You Should Know About

1-Scope of the Systems

EHRs are designed to be comprehensive, covering all aspects of a patient’s healthcare journey. This includes information from multiple healthcare providers, as well as information from different stages of care (i.e. primary care, specialty care, hospital care).

On the other hand, EMRs are typically designed to be used by a single healthcare provider or practice, and they may not include information from other providers or stages of care.


2-Level of Interoperability

Interoperability refers to the ability of different systems to communicate and exchange information with each other.

EHRs are designed to be interoperable which means that they can communicate and exchange information with other EHRs and healthcare systems. This enables healthcare providers to have a good view of a patient’s healthcare journey to make more informed decisions.

Contrary to that, EMRs are not as interoperable, meaning that they may not be able to communicate and exchange information with other systems outside the facility.

3-Level of Functionality

One of the major differences between EHR and EMR is the functionalities that both systems offer.

EHRs tend to have more advanced features and functionality, such as decision support tools, population health management tools, and advanced reporting capabilities.

While EMRs don’t have such advanced features to offer as they are typically not as comprehensive as EHRs.


4-Implementation and Usage

The last difference between EHR and EMR is that EHRs are often implemented at the organizational level which means that they are used by multiple healthcare providers within a hospital or clinic.

EMRs, on the other hand, are typically implemented at the practice level, meaning that they are used by a single provider or practice.



In short, both EHR and EMR are digital health record systems used to store and manage patient medical information electronically. However, they are different in many ways as their scopes are different. Moreover, there have different levels of interoperability and functionality. Even the way, both systems are implemented and used is also quite different. Therefore, as a medical service provider, you should understand these differences between EHR and EMR and that will help you in choosing the right system according to your needs and goals.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is EHR better than EMR?

EHR generally contains patients’ health records from multiple doctors and physicians and thus offers a more comprehensive view of a patient’s health. EMR on the other hand doesn’t allow you to share date with anyone outside a particular medical facility and thus has a limited record of patients’ medical records.

Do hospitals use EMR or EHR?

Most of the large hospitals and practices often use EHR to manage all the patient care data. However, some of them also use EMR to keep track of data of specific patients to help them with bespoke health plans.

How are EMR and EHR similar?

Both EHR and EMR work on cloud technology to ensure that patient data is safe and secure. Moreover, they both help in cost reduction in maintaining health records of patients to offer hassle-free healthcare management.

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