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EMR vs EHR: Know What’s Best for Your Practice

Healthcare organizations have long embraced electronic medical records (EMRs) and electronic health records (EHRs) for patient records management. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 85.9% of office-based physicians use an EMR/EHR system, with 79.7% using a certified EMR/EHR system. If you’re a provider looking for solutions to secure patient data, an EMR or EHR is a great choice. However, how will you know which of the two systems is better? The difference between EHR and EMR may seem minor, but it is significant.

This article will explain the difference between EMR and EHR, their benefits, and which is best for your practice.

What Is an Electronic Medical Record (EMR)?

Electronic medical record (EMR) data systems enable clinicians and staff within a healthcare organization to create, gather, manage, and consult health-related records on an individual.

It provides healthcare providers with easy access to up-to-date patient information, reducing errors and delays in treatment. The best EMRs offer patient portals that let patients view their health information and communicate with their primary doctors.

What Is an Electronic Health Record (EHR)?

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Electronic Health Records (EHRs) offer a complete digital version of a patient’s medical history. EHRs can provide all the benefits of an EMR and more. Moreover, the EHR data may contain medical records, vital signs, notes, diagnoses, medications, immunization dates, allergies, and lab results. 

The purpose of an EHR goes beyond the data it contains and how it can be shared with other providers. Access to health information is available instantly to authorized providers across organizations and practices. According to recent studies, EHR systems help you make evidence-based decisions and streamline your workflows.

EMR vs. EHR: What are their differences?

You may use their terms interchangeably as a provider, but it is easy to know the difference between EHR and EMR when comparing the terms “medical” and “health.” EMRs provide a broader perspective of the patient’s medical background, whereas EHR systems offer a more thorough assessment of the patient’s overall health.

It’s important to understand that EMR helps a single practice to manage digital patient charts. The EHR, on the other hand, allows physicians to share records easily, regardless of their location, with other healthcare providers.

Furthermore, EMR enables you to record patient medical treatment details, including test findings and medication orders. With this software, you can generate recurring prescriptions, schedule patient appointments, and manage billing. Besides e-prescribing, EHR software provides communication tools for better collaboration on patient medical care among healthcare professionals.

What Are the Benefits of an EHR and EMR?

Using an EHR/EMR can lead to a better medical experience for every patient in your practice. Since these systems provide crucial data, they can facilitate care coordination across the healthcare system. 

EMRs and EHRs offer a variety of benefits to all medical practices.

Enhances Patient Engagement

In most EHRs, patients have access to their medical records. Meanwhile, paper records can still be difficult to access with EMRs. Patients can benefit from this access if they need some time at home to consider their medical treatment options.

Keeps a Clear Patient Record History

EMR/EHR systems can organize all data chronologically with just a few clicks. With this function, your staff and practitioners can assess a patient’s condition and provide appropriate treatment faster.

Practice Management Software Inclusion

Many EHRs include practice management software capabilities. Implementing a PMS system can simplify many front-office tasks, including scheduling and registering patients. You can also gain direct access to clinical information, improving patient safety

Accurate Speech-To-Text Feature

Both EHR and EMR systems enable speech-to-text features when taking notes during patient visits. It offers numerous benefits, such as more accurate records and efficient billing.

Reliable Digital Records

Medical practices and hospitals are high-volume, emergency-intensive environments with inefficient paper records. EMRs and EHRs provide digital records that solve this problem. Using these systems will reduce paperwork and the likelihood of misplaced medical records.

Secure Data Storage

HIPAA compliance is a top priority for all leading EHR systems. Data security practices for EHR systems comply with federal government requirements. So, you don’t have to worry about breaching a patient’s privacy when you provide comprehensive care.

EMR vs. EHR: Which Is the Best?

Deciding between an EMR and EHR is an important decision that can significantly impact your medical practice’s operations and patient care quality. Despite their similarities, each system has critical differences that make it more suitable for your organization.

EMRs are ideal for smaller practices prioritizing record-keeping and requiring a basic patient information system. Meanwhile, EHRs are best for large healthcare systems that need to integrate patient data across multiple providers, locations, and services.

To help you make an informed decision, here are some frequently asked questions to know if EMR/EHR is the best for your practice:

Can EMR/EHR systems integrate with other software or systems?

EMR/EHR systems can integrate with other software or systems, such as practice management, billing, and third-party applications, using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Integrating data allows for seamless sharing and reduces duplicate data entry. Thus, it can lead to greater efficiency and accuracy for your practice.

What are the costs associated with implementing EMR/EHR systems?

Implementing EMR/EHR systems varies in cost depending on your organization’s size, software vendor, hardware requirements, and customization requirements. There may be licensing fees, hardware purchases and installations, training, and ongoing support fees.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, EMR and EHR systems offer numerous benefits and can be incredibly useful in managing patient data. However, choosing the two depends on your healthcare organization’s needs. While EMRs primarily focus on clinical data, EHRs offer a more comprehensive view of a patient’s health. 

Evaluating each system’s features and capabilities is crucial to determine which best meets your organization’s goals and requirements. 

Choose the Top EMR/EHR Software 

Are you a healthcare provider trying to decide between EMR and EHR systems? There’s no need to worry because we will provide the best!

Over the years, we have assisted medical practices with EHR/EMR selection, implementation, and software usage. We provide customized EMR/EHR software to meet your practice’s specific needs.

Schedule a demo or contact us through the contact form for more personalized information. Let’s work together to find the best software for your practice!

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