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Electronic Record Systems: EMR, EHR definition and differences

In Healthcare system, paper-based work has been in existence for centuries got replaced by computerised based records will bring a boom in the healthcare industry. In other sectors such as the finance, retail & manufacturing , transport industry, computerised information system has been achieved quickly but it takes time in healthcare field because deployment varies from speciality to speciality etc.

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From the past years, the medical care gets more and more complex, that’s why  healthcare providers, professionals, researchers need new technologies to treat patients. For this following record systems came into existence, one is Electronic Medical Record and other is Electronic health record. In our previous articles, we explain Healthcare types, Best Medical Android Apps, Hospital Information system- HISTree, Laboratory information system – LISTree in detail. Here we are going to explain EMR, EHR definition, comparison, differences in detail.

Electronic Medical Record:

An electronic medical record is defined as the digital version of traditional paper-based medical record of an individual. The main purpose of EMR systems is to systematically collect the patient health information in a digital format and maintain the medical & treatment history of the patient. Following of its benefits are:

  • Within the practice, improve & monitor overall quality of care.
  •  Over given time track data.
  • Require less space and administrative resources.
  • Provide support for a wide range of discrete care activities includes electronic subscribing, laboratory ordering, monitoring etc.
  • Provide accurate, up to date, rapidly retrievable source of information anywhere at any time.
  • Easily identify due patients for preventive checkups or screenings.

The main drawback of the EMR which makes it similar to paper record is that the information does not travel easily, even patient record have to be printed out and send to specialists through mail.

Electronic Health Record:

EHR mainly collects the patient data and securely share it across the various healthcare organizations to improve health care. This record includes progress notes, medications, vital signs , past medical history, diagnoses, imaging reports, allergies, lab data etc. National alliance for health information technology states that EHR systems data can be created, consulted and managed by authorized staff & clinicians for more than one healthcare organization. Following of its benefits are:

  • Easily share multimedia information such as medical imaging results among different locations.
  • The patient can easily log into the record and see their lab results over the last year from anywhere anytime.
  • More efficient retrieval and storage.
  • Link records to sources of current and relevant search.
  • For healthcare professionals include the provision of decision support systems.
  • Make your orders automated using secure e-prescribing technology.
  • Among different organizations and offices automatically share and update information.
  • Standardization off patient care and services.


Most of the people got confused between electronic record systems i.e. electronic health record and electronic medical record because they thought both terms are similar. But if we go deeply there is lots of difference available between both of them. So to clear your confusions we explain following differences between them. Following are:

  • EHR allows patient medical information  to move with them while in EMR patient record does not easily travel outside the practice.
  • EHR known as the digital version of  the chart while EMR was known as the digital record of the health information.
  • EHR holds data of patient information related to all points of care while EMR holds data of medical information related to the specific location.
  • EHR can be accessed by clinicians or specialities while EMR can be accessessed only by medical staff and physicians at different clinics.
  • EHR  can owned by patient or stakestokeholder while EMR owned by the CDO.

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