The terms Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Electronic Health Records (EHR) are often used interchangeably. However, both vary greatly, despite sharing certain similar characteristics. Knowing the differences and similarities is key to the success of technology investment of your practice.
Both an EMR and EHR are digital records of patient health information
EMR is best understood as the digitized medical data of a patient from a single provider. The digital records stay’s in the doctor’s office and usually does not get shared. EMR is a local and internal system of the organization. In a situation where a patient switches doctor/hospital, his/her electronic medical records is unlikely to follow.
Interoperability refers to the ability of clinicians to send and receive records from other organizations.
EHR is the digitized medical data of a patient from multiple providers. It provides a more holistic and longitudinal health records.
EHRs are designed to reach out beyond the provider that collects and compile the health information. They are built to share information with other healthcare providers, such as specialists, primary care, laboratories, pharmacies, allowing for more coordinated patient-centred care.
Typically, EHR has a patient portal that can be used by patients to access their own health records. It also offers easy communication with the clinicians.