Difference between EMR and EHR

Electronic health records (EHR) and electronic medical records (EMR) have grown in popularity over the years. Most healthcare organizations are constantly trying to provide better quality care and thereby increase their revenue. Most people consider EHR and EMR as the same thing. However, there are particular essential distinctions between the two. Here is the Difference between EMR and EHR.

Understanding EMR

EMR records other digital versions of the old medical records maintained on paper. Since physical maintenance of records called for multiple spaces to store these files, and many inaccuracies existed in such physical documentation, keeping patient information electronically was adopted, especially since tampering, damage, theft, and misplacement of patient records and data is practically non-existent.

Manual entry of data can raise several concerns. Physicians can be under tremendous pressure to search manual documentation. This also leads to the physicians getting far less time to focus on patients or even spending more time interacting with them. EMR records help track patient quality care, making such records intelligent business tools. However, this method does not allow the information to be passed on to other healthcare organizations.

Understanding EHR

Soon after EMR was introduced, the very same providers understood not a lot more improvements could be introduced. Naturally, they came up with a solution which they called EHR. Although EHR fulfils many of the same things as EMR, it focuses most strongly on the individual patient. Multiple clinics are accessed to compile data on a particular patient in this method. It is evident then that healthcare providers can easily share information through such a method.

EHR systems help in promoting interoperability. It allows the transfer of patient data on a real-time basis when the patient starts visiting a new healthcare provider. This will enable EHR to build an absolute and broad picture of that patient’s health. Unlike EMR, where records of individual health care providers for a particular patient show condition-specific records as held in specific clinics, EHR compiles records from various clinics into one consolidated repository to understand a patient’s complete medical history. This also enables the health care providers to treat a patient better.


  • Both EHR and EMR contain the medical records of patients.
  • Both systems and software make patient records available both on cloud-based systems and on-premise.
  • Exchanging all the relevant data about a patient is enabled by both systems.
  • Relevant data can be exchanged seamlessly between systems and providers.
  • Various tools such as reporting, analytics, billing, scheduling, and many other tools are provided by both software.


  • While EMR is suitable for health care providers in specialty clinics irrespective of the size of the clinic, the same does not hold in the case of EHR.
  • EHR is suitable for health care providers in large multi-specialty organizations and multi-location hospital systems. EMR does not support multi-locational or multi-specialty hospital systems. It is more based on a single-unit system.

Both EMRs and EHRs have become far more powerful and highly robust over time. It tends to provide healthcare professionals with tools that ensure a significant increase in revenue and give far more improved quality care. Both software offers a lot of similar functionality.


  • Both software reduces medical errors significantly while improving health care by compiling accurate and up-to-date information on patients.
  • Healthcare providers and patients are safe through duplicate and repetitive testing.
  • Since patient information is practically complete and constantly updated, it allows more accurate diagnoses and treatments.
  • Also, both these systems require more patient participation and interaction, they help encourage better medical knowledge and healthier lifestyles for patients.
  • Since both these systems use everything electronic, reporting is also electronic, ensuring that patient documents and charts are unambiguous.


  • EMR does not allow patient records and information for sharing outside of any individual clinic.
  • EHR provides practically every medical report and history of a particular patient. With pharmaceutical giants, such freely available information can lead to a more commercial atmosphere rather than keeping the focus on health care primarily.
  • All the medical information about a patient can be accessible anywhere by different specialists, imaging facilities, pharmacies, labs, and many other organizations and individuals. While this can seem like a good and easy option for a patient to avail of medical treatment almost anywhere, it can also have various detrimental effects.
  • When a patient’s medical information is freely available and accessible almost everywhere, it may cause harm to the patient’s privacy.
  • With a person’s medical information available almost everywhere, authorities can place unnecessary restrictions on such persons as when they want.

Strategy to select a solution

Which software to select is quite confusing and time-consuming as well. Then it’s simply too many options that make it an overwhelming task to narrow down your search for relevant software.

  • Of course, if you talk to the staff of any medical organization, they will be able to provide you with all the features and tools available in the software. This can be a great way to understand which features and tools you will need and which are not desirable.
  • You must focus more on considering the unique wants and needs of the healthcare facility that you run since that may help you choose the appropriate software solution that is more relevant for your medical organization.
  • The scope of medical treatment that your organization provides can also be a primary deciding factor in choosing your software solution. If you frequently refer your parents to other organizations, EHR software will be the perfect solution. On the other hand, if your medical organization is large and provides most of the patients’ solutions, EMR would be the ideal choice for your organization.


Remember that both EHR and EMR are used interchangeably, even by industry experts. There are significant differences between the two. So the most prudent advice would be that you compare a variety of solutions so that you can better analyze software and its scope before choosing one that will best suit your healthcare facility.

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