EMR vs EHR: What Is The Difference?


In this guide we are going to review the key similarities, differences, and advantages of EMR vs EHR.

As time goes on, more and more healthcare organizations in the United States are transitioning from paper records to electronic ones. Along with this transition comes the rise of the terms EMR and EHR.

Many people tend to use EMR and EHR interchangeably, but the truth is that they are not the same. It’s important for healthcare professionals to know the difference between EMRs and EHRs. Whichever one you decide to use in your medical practice will affect the quality of service your patients receive.

So, what is the difference between EHR and EMR? We’re here to tell you.

Benefits of Electronic Records

As the world grows more and more digital, the advantages of paper records are diminishing. Electronic records, especially for use in healthcare organizations, have tons of benefits over paper ones.

For one thing, electronic records provide much better security. Gone are the days when all of a patient’s confidential information openly sits in a filing cabinet. Electronic records are much more difficult to access, which ensures that the patient’s information will only be seen by authorized eyes.

Electronic records also save time in the office. You will no longer need to search through every file to find one patient’s information. Instead, because electronic records make information so easily accessible, your time can be spent with the patient themselves, giving them a more well-rounded service.

Because electronic records also allow for speech generated documentation, data entry is much easier than with paper records. Using Dragon Medical One with electronic records can make administrative tasks much less demanding.

It is also more convenient for both the patient and you to keep electronic records. Patients can use an online portal to check test results or book appointments on their own. This makes both their experience and your job easier.

The use of an online portal is also a way to encourage patient engagement and help connect them more deeply with your practice. More thorough patient engagement means that they will be more likely to stay with you.

So, now that you’ve decided to make the switch from paper to digital records, you need to know about the different types of electronic records. Let’s begin with EMRs.

What Are EMRs?

EMR stands for “electronic medical record”. In essence, an EMR is a digital version of a patient’s chart in a physician’s office.

EMRs contain important information about the patient, like their past diagnoses, any medications that they are on, allergies, and general medical records. They’re a good and easy method of saving medication information.

Benefits of EMRs

EMRs help doctors keep track of a patient’s data in a simple, easy-to-access way. They help doctors determine which patients are in need of appointments or checkups.

In general, EMRs are a convenient and easy way for physicians to get a quick overview of a patient’s condition and basic vital information. They also help doctors to determine how well patients are responding to certain treatments and which further treatments may be necessary.

However, the main disadvantage of an EMR is that it only retains medical information from one practice. If the patient changes doctors, the EMR is not likely to come with them, which means that the new doctor could be missing some vital information. This may prevent the patient from getting the best medical experience possible.

The limited shareability of EMRs also can cause problems when patients need to see specialists. Often, the EMR will need to be printed out and sent to the specialist as a physical copy, which erases a lot of the benefits of an electronic record in the first place.

What Are EHRs?

EHR stands for “electronic health record”. While there is only one word changed between EHRs and EMRs, it makes a world of difference.

EHRs are much more extensive than EMRs. They include information from multiple different doctors and practices, not just one. This gives the doctor a much deeper understanding of the patient’s condition and history.

The information on an EHR includes much of the same information on an EMR, but it goes even further. EHRs can include treatment plans, demographics, test results, imaging, history of present illness, and more.

Benefits of EHRs

The main advantage that EHRs have over EMRs is shareability. Because EHRs are so easily shared between practices, they contain much more detail than EMRs. This makes things simpler for both the patient and the doctor.

Since the EHR goes wherever the patient goes, information is always available to help the patient get a better and more well-rounded medical experience. It’s easy to learn how to share EHRs with specialists or other practitioners. And once you do, you don’t have to worry about misplacing or damaging paper records ever again.

EHRs also save time with data entry. Once they are shared between practices, any physician can easily input their data into a patient’s EHR. This allows all involved parties in a patient’s treatment process to have quick access to important information.

Not only this, but EHRs also have a financial incentive. They allow you to have the requirements necessary to receive reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid.

EHRs are beneficial both to the patient and the practice. It’s important to do everything you can to give your patients the best medical experience possible. EHRs can provide that and more.

Learn More About EMR vs EHR

Now that you know the difference between EMR vs EHR, it’s time to think bigger. Consider how you can upgrade your office with electronic records and other technology. There are countless EMR vs EHR resources at your fingertips to help with providing your patients an incredible experience.