An EHR (electronic health record) is an electronic record of a patient’s medical history, as maintained by their health care provider over time. Information contained in an EHR might include patient demographics, immunization records, progress notes, vital signs, patient and family medical history, medication and problem lists, and testing reports. Additionally, information kept in EHRs is easily transmitted between providers through secure messaging and other interfaces.
An EMR (electronic medical record) is an electronic version of a patient’s paper chart maintained in a single practitioner’s office. EMRs are limited in that they are not easily transferred between practices.
EHR vs. EMR usage
Traditionally, the terms EHR and EMR have been used interchangeably, even though they technically describe two different products. “EHR” has become more widely used over time, as CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) have focused on electronic health records for achieving Meaningful Use.
A practice using a fully functional EHR, like MicroMD EHR, will notice that in addition to housing patient health information, an EHR will also
- Increase patient compliance
- Streamline practice workflow
- Increase practice efficiency
- Increase quality of care
- Streamline coordination of care