EMR and EHR are two very different things: Heres Why

Whether you say EMR or EHR is more than a matter of semantics. Electronic medical records (EMRs) and electronic health records (EHRs) are not the same thing. The acronyms represent entirely different concepts, so insisting that they’re used correctly is more than quibbling over words.

Unless you’re fairly well versed in advanced clinical information technologies, you’re probably confused, because the press, vendors, government officials and industry mavens sometimes unintentionally use the terms incorrectly. Particularly galling are excuses from people who know the difference but use the terms interchangeably, saying “Well, that’s the way the world seems to be heading” or “the horses are already out of the barn” or “I know better, but my editors have decided to call both concepts EHR.” Unfortunately, we didn’t make up these quotations.

What’s the difference?
EMRs are computerized legal clinical records created in health care centers, such as hospitals and physician offices.

EHRs represent the ability to easily share medical information among stakeholders and to allow it to follow the patient through various modalities of care from different health care centers.

Stakeholders in this context are consumers, healthcare providers, employers and payers, including the government.

The electronic health record (EHR) is an evolving concept defined as a more longitudinal collection of the electronic health information of individual patients or populations.

The EMR is, in contrast, defined as the patient record created by providers for specific encounters in hospitals and ambulatory environments, and which can serve as a data source for an EHR.

It is important to note that an “EHR” is generated and maintained within an institution, such as a hospital, integrated delivery network, clinic, or physician office, to give patients, physicians and other health care providers, employers, and payers or insurers access to a patient’s medical records across facilities.

Diving Deeper

EMR: An application environment composed of the clinical data repository (CDR), clinical decision support system (CDSS), controlled medical vocabulary (CMV), computerized provider order entry (CPOE), pharmacy and clinical documentation applications. The patient’s electronic record is supported across inpatient and outpatient environments; is
used by healthcare practitioners to document, monitor and manage care delivery within the CDO (Care Delivery Organization) ; and is owned by the CDO. The data in the EMR is the legal record of what happened to the patient during encounters at the CDO.

EHR: A subset of each CDO’s EMR, presently assumed to include summaries, such as ASTM’s Continuity of Care Record (CCR) and HL7’s Care Record Summary (CRS), and possibly information from pharmacy benefit management firms, reference labs and other organizations about the health status of patients in the community. It contains patient input and access spanning episodes of care across multiple CDOs within a community, region, or state (or in some countries, the entire country). The patient controls access to information. In the United States, EHRs will ride on the proposed National Health Information Network (NHIN).

In Summary

EMR and EHR both are information pertaining to a patient.

While EMR information is local and proprietary to a particular health care center, EHR is optimized for exchange. So an EHR would contain way more less detail.

In contrast, a personal health record (PHR) is an electronic application for recording personal medical data that the individual patient controls and may make available to health providers.

Check Out : Difference between an EHR and PHR.

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