What Is an Electronic Medical Record (EMR)?
An electronic medical record (EMR) is a digital version of a paper chart that contains all of a patient’s medical history from one practice. An EMR is mostly used by providers for diagnosis and treatment.
Benefits of Electronic Medical Records
An EMR is more beneficial than paper records because it allows providers to:
- Track data over time
- Identify patients who are due for preventive visits and screenings
- Monitor how patients measure up to certain parameters, such as vaccinations and blood pressure readings
- Improve overall quality of care in a practice
The information stored in EMRs is not easily shared with providers outside of a practice. A patient’s record might even have to be printed out and delivered by mail to specialists and other members of the care team.
Differences between Electronic Medical Records and Electronic Health Records
An EMR contains the standard medical and clinical data gathered in one provider’s office. Electronic health records (EHRs) go beyond the data collected in the provider’s office and include a more comprehensive patient history.
For example, EHRs are designed to contain and share information from all providers involved in a patient’s care. EHR data can be created, managed, and consulted by authorized providers and staff from across more than one health care organization.
Unlike EMRs, EHRs also allow a patient’s health record to move with them—to other health care providers, specialists, hospitals, nursing homes, and even across states.