Electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic health records (EHR) are similar in nature. It’s no wonder the terms are thought to be interchangeable. However, seemingly subtle differences can be significant to healthcare providers—something the medical layman would hardly notice. What matters most to medical entities is that these differences can make one system more manageable or cost-efficient for their healthcare organization.

What Is an Electronic Medical Record System?

Electronic medical records digitally replace the patient charts typically used for diagnosis and treatment. These records outline a patient’s medical history, prescriptions, diagnoses, allergies, and other relevant information.

Over paper charting, EMRs provide seamless access to patient documentation, eliminating the time spent searching through file cabinets and flipping through pages. EMRs also enhance the tracking process, allowing healthcare providers to keep up with multiple patients at once.

What Is an Electronic Health Record System?

An electronic health record amasses all the data in an EMR and then some, allowing users to track information such as demographics, lab results, insurance, and prior authorizations, and more.

EHRs also grant access to this patient information across the care continuum, allowing for the seamless sharing of data between labs, pharmacies, and hospitals, facilitating services such as e-prescriptions and advance reporting, among other capabilities.

As they are shared across other health establishments, EHRs play a significant role in the Medicare/Medicaid program Meaningful Use. EHRs are said to improved patient outcomes and are therefore tied to performance-based compensation.

Which Solution Is Right for Your Company?

Both EMRs and EHRs trump the use of paper documentation, and offer increased efficiency and savings, as well as improved patient care. Beyond that, which solution is right for your company depends upon the scope of your facility’s needs as well as the resources you have designated for a solution. The defining features of each are:

Electronic Medical Records (EMRs):

  • • Contain the medical information necessary for diagnosis and treatment.
  • • Are simple to deploy.
  • • Offer lower costs.
  • • Are not sharable outside of a single practice (EMRs stay within medical practice walls).
  • • Are suitable for smaller healthcare providers and specialty clinics.

Electronic Health Records (EHRs):

  • • Provide in-depth data regarding a patient’s medical history.
  • • Are shareable outside of a single practice.
  • • Meet Meaningful Use standards for incentive-based programs from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
  • • Allow for remote access by patients, and patients can take EHRs across providers, states, and country borders, allowing them to receive treatment anywhere.
  • • Allow patients to observe trends in their health over time, improving their ability to make long-term decisions for their care.
  • • Are suitable for larger or multi-specialty healthcare organizations.

Manage Patient Information Effectively

Despite a one-word difference between the two, EMRs and EHRs fulfill significantly different purposes. Choosing the right solution for your organization can empower your healthcare providers to communicate effectively and streamline medical processes.

Interfacing with Both Systems to Provide Superior Service

No matter which system you choose between EHRs and EMRs, at Credence Global Solutions, the services and solutions we offer can interface with either. From our medical billing and coding services, to the technology of our advanced patient engagement platform, we work with the record system of your choice to further the customer experience. Through our comprehensive suite of accounts receivable and revenue cycle management services, we empower healthcare companies to make sweeping financial transformations. To find out more about the solutions we offer and how they can benefit your company, contact us today.