EMR and EHR – What is the difference

Both these terms—electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic health records (EHR)—seem to have a simple change of an alphabet in the middle, but still, both of the terms are used by doctors, patients and other health practitioners interchangeably. There is a slight difference between these two forms of record systems. Let us find out more.

Know the difference
Before we delve any further, we must first understand what the two terms mean. An EMR is an Electronic Medical Record which is used by clinicians in carrying our diagnosis and treatment of an ailment based on the health metrics contained therein. These records include information regarding the past ailments and any allergies as well as current medication, for the patient. Whereas EHR is known as an Electronic Health Record, and it is used to record all the information that pertains to the state of the patient’s health. In this way, an EHR goes a little further than an EMR and helps in understanding the health of the individual rather than merely carrying out treatment and diagnosis of a particular ailment.

Data usage
While the EMR or Electronic Medical Record will keep track of all the information about the ailment for which the patient may visit the doctor, it also helps in setting screening schedules depending on the health and other metrics defined with the records. The EHR goes a little further by depicting the health of the patient. This information is not merely collected and collated, but it is also in a format which can be shared across health organizations and with clinicians who can compute this data to help in better care giving practices across various clinical settings.

While the Electronic Medical Records will talk about the ailment and screening schedules, the EHR will be helpful in emergency situations as well so that proper care may be accorded without having to hunt for the appropriate health information.

Maintaining medical records is of utmost importance in today’s day and age so that one can get the right care at the right time for timely treatment of an ailment.

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