​​Difference between electronic health records and electronic medical records

Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) are both digital systems used to store and manage patient information in healthcare settings. While they share some similarities, they serve different purposes and have distinct features.

Electronic Health Records (EHR):

  1. Scope: EHRs provide a comprehensive view of a patient’s health history, including information from multiple healthcare providers and facilities. They encompass a broader range of data, such as demographics, medical history, diagnoses, medications, immunizations, lab results, and more.
  2. Interoperability: EHR systems are designed to share information with other healthcare providers and organizations, such as labs, pharmacies, and specialists, facilitating seamless communication and collaboration across the entire healthcare continuum.
  3. Accessibility: EHRs are accessible to authorized users across various healthcare settings, enabling providers to access up-to-date patient information regardless of the care setting or location.
  4. Patient Engagement: EHR systems often include patient portals, allowing patients to access their health records, view test results, communicate with healthcare providers, and schedule appointments.

Electronic Medical Records (EMR):

  1. Scope: EMRs are focused on a patient’s medical history within a single healthcare facility or provider’s practice. They typically include clinical data, such as diagnoses, treatments, and medications, but may not encompass information from other healthcare providers or facilities.
  2. Interoperability: EMR systems are often limited in their ability to share information with other systems or providers. Data exchange between EMRs is generally more challenging and may require manual intervention.
  3. Accessibility: EMRs are usually restricted to the healthcare facility where they are created and maintained, making it difficult for other providers to access the patient’s records if the patient receives care elsewhere.
  4. Patient Engagement: EMRs do not commonly offer patient portals or other tools for patients to access their records or communicate with healthcare providers.

In summary, the main differences between EHRs and EMRs lie in their scope, interoperability, accessibility, and patient engagement features. EHRs provide a more comprehensive and integrated approach to managing patient information across the healthcare continuum, while EMRs are focused on managing patient data within a single healthcare facility or provider’s practice.