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Four Key Differences Between Electronic Medical Records and Electronic Health Records 

Four Key Differences Between Electronic Medical Records and Electronic Health Records

EMRs contain a patient’s complete medical history within one healthcare practice area. Previously, this information did not travel easily outside the office and required large storage facilities. Also, illegibility was an issue, but this problem has been solved by using computer systems.

However, knowing the difference between EMR and EHR in several ways is important.

Patient Access

Patients can become more involved in their care when they access their medical records. They can also become better informed and make decisions based on more complete information. This helps them proactively address their health needs and adjust their lifestyle choices.

EMRs are digital versions of paper charts that clinicians and healthcare workers use in a specific area of medical practice. They do not easily travel to another area, so when a patient switches healthcare facilities, their record might need to be printed out and physically delivered to the new facility.

On the other hand, EHRs are designed to provide all patient health data across multiple healthcare settings and can travel with them. This makes them more accessible for all healthcare professionals and allows patients to understand their health history better, even when changing doctors. This can lead to better medical decisions and lower rates of medication errors. Studies of patient portals versus traditional documentation have found that patients with more accurate medication lists are 37.5 percent less likely to experience an adverse drug event (ADE).Interoperability

EMR and EHR systems must be interoperable with other information management systems to operate at peak performance. This enables quicker and more precise data collection, allowing healthcare providers to make more accurate decisions. It also allows for more efficient communication between offices and medical facilities. This can reduce expenses in many areas, such as avoiding redundant lab tests or eliminating unnecessary referrals. In addition, the ability to share data in real-time increases efficiency and improves patient outcomes. This helps medical practices comply with pay-for-performance initiatives, like MIPS and MACRA and reduces the burden of manual data entry on staff members.

Interoperability between healthcare information systems is achieved through open application programming interfaces or APIs. The first level of interoperability is known as syntactic. It defines the data exchange format between systems to allow them to interpret each other’s information without additional technologies or user intervention. This tier of interoperability focuses on the structure and meaning of data and is vital to eliminate the existing technology gaps between information systems.


A certified EHR enables medical professionals to share data with multiple parties, including other healthcare businesses and patients. Security measures, including encryption, password protection and audit logs secure this data. Despite these safeguards, many criminal hackers seek to steal copies of health records for their gain.

A qualified EHR also gives emergency room doctors immediate access to a patient’s full medical history, including information such as past medical encounters, lab results, prescriptions and digital images like X-rays. Additionally, a qualified EHR allows the clinician to generate and send prescriptions for drugs or other forms of treatment electronically.

Regarding securing patient information, EMRs and EHRs are protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Furthermore, many software providers, such as Meditab’s practice management system, IMS, offer tools that improve the security of electronic prescribing and lab ordering. This makes them a better choice for larger, more complex healthcare practices.


Rather than relying on paper records safeguarded by a filing cabinet and your staff’s ability only to allow access to authorized people, EHR software allows information to digitally move with the patient between specialists, labs, imaging facilities, pharmacies and across different states. EHRs can also improve healthcare delivery by analyzing data and enhancing quality outcomes.

There are many philosophical views on the nature of privacy. Some view it as a moral issue, noting the value of privacy in promoting self-development and maintaining interpersonal relationships (Fried, 1970; Rachels, 1975). Other philosophers have developed a utilitarian account of privacy, arguing that it has instrumental values that benefit society and its intrinsic and extrinsic value for individuals (Schoeman, 1992).

Others criticize the Supreme Court’s decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, viewing the right to privacy as a social-cultural construct, not an original or natural right. These theorists are often referred to as reductionists, for they believe that privacy claims are analyzable and reducible to other rights, such as property or bodily integrity.


Although the EMR and EHR systems provide many benefits to patients, physicians and healthcare organizations, they also have some upfront costs. One such cost is the purchase and installation of an electronic data storage system.

Another cost is the ongoing maintenance of an EMR system. For example, software updates, hardware upgrades and data migration can incur expenses. Additionally, recurring fees are associated with cloud hosting, security and backup.

Despite these initial costs, an EMR can reduce operational costs for medical facilities in the long run. For example, using an EMR can improve efficiency in radiology diagnostics and streamline billing services. It can also cut down on the number of paper prescriptions a doctor has to write and send to the pharmacy, and it can eliminate the need for doctors to handwrite notes for their patients.

Lastly, an EMR can help prevent mistakes in patient charts by eliminating unique terminologies and spelling errors. It can even offer a tool called E-prescribing, which allows doctors to transmit medicine details directly to the pharmacy, rather than having the patient sign a written prescription.

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