EMR vs EHR: It’s Not To-may-to vs To-mah-to
At DGN Consulting, we communicate with doctors’ offices on a daily basis as we introduce CareCloud, a next-generation cloud-based Practice Management and EHR platform. One of the questions we see on a regular basis is this: can the terms EMR and EHR be used interchangeably? This misnomer can catch many of our clients off guard.
So, a simple definition and description are in order.
EMR, or “electronic medical record” – An EMR is basically an electronic version of the old-fashioned paper charts and records that we see in back rooms of doctors’ offices. They contain everything from patient demographic information to clinical treatments and medications. EMRs work great for tracking the “wellness” or quality of care that goes on in a practice. They are very “practice-focused.”
EHR, or “electronic health record” – An EHR takes EMR functionality to a new level. EHRs allow the patient’s data to be shared outside of the practice. When a patient goes to a specialist or other healthcare provider (lab, hospital, etc), his or her information can be obtained through the EHR platform. It is not necessary for the patient or the doctor’s office to gather all of this information. It is already available in the electronic EHR format.
Why is there such confusion over these terms? Is one more appropriate than the other?
It is easy to see why practices do confuse these terms. An EHR does what an EMR can do, but it has that extra ability to share patient information across the healthcare community. It also allows patients to have access to their records and the ability to view their course of treatment over time. EHRs provide doctors and healthcare personnel with instant information and the ability to see how a patient’s care is being coordinated electronically.
CareCloud gives your practice all of these options. Whether you want a simple practice scheduler or an EMR, or if your practice is ready for a certified EHR, you can pick and choose what works for you today. DGN Consulting is excited to introduce CareCloud and find the right solution for you.