What is the difference between a Personal Health Record, an Electronic Health Record, and an Electronic Medical Record?

An electronic medical record (EMR) is a digital version of the paper charts in a doctor’s office. They contain primarily the notes and information collected by and for the clinicians in that office.

An electronic health record (EHR) is built to share information with other health care providers, such as laboratories and specialists. They contain information from all the clinicians involved in the patient’s care and authorized clinicians can access the information they need, to provide care to that patient.

A personal health record (PHR) contains the same types of information as a electronic health record—diagnoses, medications, immunizations, family medical history, and contact information for providers—but it is designed to be set up and accessed by patients themselves.

Content last reviewed on May 21, 2019
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