EHR vs. EMR : What is the difference?

Posted by: Alok Prasad

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In the world of healthcare, although EHR and EMR are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. In fact, there are some key differences that set them apart. Let us start by understanding the definition of both these terms independently.


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

An Electronic Medical Record is a digitized version of a patient's medical chart maintained by a single healthcare provider, improving the accuracy of information and ensuring seamless data accessibility for better patient care.

Electronic Medical Records contain a wealth of information, such as patient demographics, progress notes, medical problems, medications, vital signs, past medical history, immunizations, laboratory data, and radiology reports. They are stored electronically on secure servers, allowing providers to track patient data over time, identify patients for preventive visits and screenings, make better treatment decisions, and improve overall healthcare quality.

However, it is important to note that Electronic Medical Records can be created, gathered, managed, and consulted only by authorized clinicians and staff within one healthcare organization. This ensures the security and privacy of the patient's medical data.

What is the Definition of Electronic Health Records (EHR)?

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are more comprehensive and contain a patient's medical information from all healthcare providers involved in their care. It includes diagnoses, medications, lab results, allergies, immunization records, and personal health data generated by wearables and other health devices. They are designed to improve patient care and safety by providing easy access to medical information, reducing medical errors, and enhancing communication between healthcare providers.

EHRs are used across healthcare organizations, making it easier for patients to receive consistent care regardless of where they seek treatment. EHRs have become increasingly popular in recent years, offering numerous benefits, such as improved patient outcomes, increased efficiency, and reduced healthcare costs.

EHRs have revolutionized healthcare by improving the accuracy of information, aiding clinical decision-making, and ensuring seamless data accessibility for better patient care. With Electronic Health Records, clinicians can easily access and analyze a patient's medical history, which can help them to provide more accurate diagnoses and make better treatment decisions.

EHRs are not only secure and accurate, but they are also patient-centered. They provide real-time access to patient data, which allows clinicians to make informed decisions about their treatment plans. With EHRs, patients can also access their own medical records, which can help them take control of their healthcare and ensure that their medical information is up-to-date and accurate. This patient-centered approach to healthcare is a huge step forward in the medical industry, and it can potentially improve patient outcomes and overall healthcare quality.

However, it is important to note that Electronic Health Records can be accessed and managed by authorized clinicians and staff across different healthcare organizations.


Difference Between EMR and EHR

An EHR (Electronic Health Record) surpasses an EMR (Electronic Medical Record) by allowing seamless information exchange among different healthcare systems, enabling more holistic and coordinated patient care.

Let us learn more about the differences below.


Electronic Medical Records

Electronic Health Records

Scope of Information

Contains patient medical history, diagnoses, medications, and treatment plans, usually within a single healthcare organization. 

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 care coordination.


Cannot share information with other healthcare providers or systems, making it challenging to coordinate care with other providers outside of a single organization.

Higher level of interoperability that allows patient data to be shared securely and electronically among authorized healthcare providers.

Care Coordination

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 patient care plans.

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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