An EHR and an EMR vary greatly, although many use the terms EHR and EMR interchangeably. An EMR (electronic medical record) is a digital version of a chart with patient information stored in a computer and an EHR (electronic health record) is a digital record of health information.
EMR & EHR TRENDS
While both EHR and EMR are commonly used terms, the term “EHR (electronic health records)” is now referenced more frequently. This is likely due to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information (ONC) preference for the term “EHR”. The CMS when speaking of health care reform, always uses the terminology, “meaningful use of an EHR”. The ONC exclusively uses the terms “EHR” and “electronic health records”, explaining that the word ‘health’ is more encompassing than the word ‘medical’. The term “Medical Records” implies clinician records for diagnosis and treatment, while the term “Health Records” more broadly denotes anything related to the general condition of the body. A Personal Health Record known as PHR is just that: personal. It is those parts of the EMR/EHR that an individual person “owns” and controls.
EMR & EHR ADVANTAGES
Compared to paper records, a digital patient-record (EHR) system can add information management tools to help providers provide better care by more efficiently organizing, interpreting, and reacting to data. EHR software can provide clinical reminder alerts, connect experts for health care decision support, and analyze aggregate data for both care management and research.