EHR (Electronic Health Records) vs. EMR (Electronic Medical Records)

Posted by: Alok Prasad

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In the vast and ever-evolving world of healthcare, acronyms abound. Two such terms that often perplex and confuse are EHR and EMR. Although these acronyms may seem interchangeable, they actually have distinct meanings. In this blog post, we will delve into the similarities and differences between EHR and EMR.

Let us get to the basic definitions of both Electronic Medical Records and Electronic Health Records.

What is the Definition of an EMR (Electronic Medical Record)?

Electronic Medical Record stores everything you will find in a paper medical chart in digital format and includes all of the key administrative and clinical data, required to improve the quality of care and accuracy of record-keeping including demographics, progress notes, problems, medications, vital signs, past medical history, immunizations, laboratory data and radiology reports. However there is a caveat - such an electronic record of health-related information on an individual has to be created, gathered, managed, and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff within one health care organization."

What is the definition of an EHR (Electronic Health Record)?

Electronic Health Record (EHR) is a more comprehensive view of the patient's history which enables providers to collaborate by sharing health data which is created, gathered, managed, and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff across multiple health care organizations over a period of time and is the key to providers making better decisions and patients receiving better care.

Greater level of interoperability in an EHR allows patient data to be shared securely and electronically among authorized healthcare providers and is the key to providers making better decisions and providing better care.


Differences Between EMRs and EHRs

The main difference between EMR (Electronic Medical Record) and EHR (Electronic Health Record) lies in the breadth and depth of the information each system captures and where that information can be accessed. While an EMR is a digital version of a patient's chart, specific to one healthcare provider's office and focused on tasks like tracking clinical data and diagnosing and treating within that specific practice, an EHR has a wider purview. EHRs not only contain these clinical data but also integrate records from various sources, providing a more holistic overview of a patient's health throughout their lifetime and across different healthcare providers.

This difference in scope means that while EMRs are primarily used for diagnosis and treatment by one healthcare provider, EHRs facilitate coordinated and comprehensive care among multiple healthcare professionals and settings.


Electronic Medical Records

Electronic Health Records


EMRs are digital versions of  a patient's medical record in paper format within a single healthcare organization with the goal of improving the efficiency and accuracy of record-keeping. , and making patient information more readily accessible to healthcare providers.

EHRs are designed to provide a comprehensive and interoperable view of a patient's health information and include additional features, such as the ability to share patient information with other healthcare providers, and decision support tools.

Scope of Information

Is a digital version of a paper chart that contains patient medical history, diagnoses, medications, and treatment plans, usually within a single healthcare organization. 

Is designed to be compiled, accessed, and shared by anyone who provides care or treatment for a particular patient or group of individuals. It moves beyond traditional boundaries of practice, health care network, and even geography to provide a complete, longitudinal record of the patient's health to enable more complete coordination of care.


Typically lack the ability to share information with other healthcare providers or systems, making it challenging to coordinate care with other providers outside of a single organization

Typically have a higher level of interoperability that allows patient data to be shared securely and electronically among authorized healthcare providers.

Care Coordination

May have limited capabilities for care coordination.

Designed to support care coordination across multiple healthcare providers and settings. This allows healthcare providers to share information and collaborate on a patient's care plan.

Analytics and population health management

May not have the same level of analytics and population health management capabilities as EHR.

Often include analytics tools that allow healthcare providers to identify trends and patterns in patient health data. This information can be used to improve patient outcomes and population health.



Topics: EHR Selection, Provider/Physician, Consultant

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