EHR vs. EMR Definition, Benefits & EHR Usage Trends

The only difference lies here is what are the EMR and EHR’s top usage trends across the globe. Let’s take a bit of a detour and start with the basics of EMR and EHR.

EHR vs. EMR

Today no terms seem to be tricky or new. I mean any new word comes your way and you start Googling it! This is quite normal, we are being raised and grown up in digital times where information is spread at a lightning speed, and knowing all the terms and concepts is pretty obvious. I am sure before you begin reading the post you might have already Googled the difference between EMR or EHR. If not then let me tell you both terms are related to the medical world or what we call the healthcare industry.

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I recently happened to stumble upon an interesting post that states what are Electronic Health Records(EHRs) and Electronic Medical Records (EMRs). How to clear out the confusion between EMR vs EHR. To add more to it we have also added, What kind of benefits do these electronic medical records and electronic health records systems offer, and most important of all what is the core difference between the two? And that’s how I came up with the idea of this post. The only difference lies here is what are the EMR and EHR’s top usage trends across the globe. Let’s take a bit of a detour and start with the basics of EMR and EHR.

Introducing EMR and EHR

EMR as the name suggests EMR stands for Electronic Medical Records. Incorporating technological advancements in the healthcare realm is no longer an exception. In fact, it seems to have become a sure-shot norm for every healthcare organization to succeed. No wonder the future of these EMR and EHR technologies seems to be pretty rosy. Do you know how these concepts came into existence? Well, before the 2000s, how was the situation before EHR and EMR were invented? If a patient has been admitted to a hospital then an intern is appointed who was responsible for running down all the previous records, and history of the patient. The intern was supposed to dig in hundreds and thousands of files of the patient so that the right treatment can begin within time. It was quite daunting, tiresome and frustrating to go through a whole lot of different medical histories and whatnot!

After the incorporation of EMR, electronic medical records and EHR (electronic health records), all these hassles, difficulties, and daunting tasks were gone. These technological advancements have certainly offered a wide range of kickbacks and benefits to providers as well as patients all across the globe. Today, there is no need of going through tons of files and patient history. All the records, medical tests, reports, and allergies can be found in these folders.

Now EMR and EHR are often used interchangeably but to be honest they are not the same. An EMR (electronic medical record) is a digital version featuring all the relevant information about the patient whereas an EHR (electronic health record) is more like a health record of a patient. Information stored on these devices can be accessed by patients and doctors from anywhere. All they require is a strong internet connection.

Electronic Medical Record Electronic Health Record
It’s more like a chart in a digital version. A digital health record of the patient.
Not shared outside with other providers. Can be shared anywhere within real time.
Quick diagnosis and treatment Easy access to other tools and helps a lot in decision-making.

Still confused? Well, tell me what are the things you can include in a paper chart? Right from medical history to the diagnosis made, medications, recommendations, allergies, immunization dates, etc can be included here. As mentioned above these reports cannot be shared outside with other providers so they are pretty safe and secure. Whereas an electronic health record is more like a digital health record featuring a lot more than just a paper chart. Everything from the past medical history to vital signs, progress notes, appropriate diagnosis, medications, lab data, reports, and whatnot! Here you may find other relevant information such as insurance reports, demographic resources and so more! EHR mostly leads to evidence-based decision support, high-quality management, and seamless reporting.

Now if you think from a medical practitioner’s perception, EMR is way more than just paper charts. Yes, the technology assists well in tracking patients’ data over time way easier and better. Also, with the help of EMR, seamless patient monitoring and real-time updates is possible. Also, most EMRs tend to scan your charts just to double-check whether the patient needs a check-up or not, screenings or any other relevant appointments.

Whereas in an EHR system, practitioners are able to involve third-parties and seek their opinions in case they get stuck in between. With the help of EHR, patient’s data can be seamlessly transferred to any specialist located in any other region or country. The general and basic difference between EHR and EMR is that EHR are more patient-centric whereas EMR’s are practice-centric.

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Benefits of using EHR

EHR or Electronic Health Records offers a wide range of advantages such as they offer better care to patients and automate a wide range of tasks. As mentioned above, severe exchange of information can be done remotely as well as in real-time. Further, below I would like to mention certain amazing benefits of using Electronic health records.

Convenience

One of the obvious yet amazing benefits offered by an EHR is that it turns out to be more convenient to patients as well as medical practitioners. For example, you all of sudden happen to change your country or state while seeking some crucial treatment. Now what happens is when he or she tries to meet another practitioner who has no idea about the patient’s history can seamlessly have a look at EHR files and ultimately know what needs to be done next. Here patients no longer have to make several phone calls and email requests over the course of one or two weeks and the treatment is done right away!

Having a centralized and a widely adopted system is what EHRs can offer. So yes convenience here is the most crucial benefit.

Enhanced care and Treatments

Another crucial benefit of using Electronic Health records is enhanced quality of care. Gone are the days when doctors or medical practitioners were supposed to write in their own handwriting which was never understood by any other person including other practitioners. With the rise of computerized records, everything seems to have become so easy and convenient. Most important of all, the insane risk of misunderstandings and misinterpretations have decreased to a great extent. The overall care of patients seem to have improved to a great extent in several ways such as:

  • Enhanced accuracy in regards to proper documentation, diagnosing, claiming insurance and submissions
  • Treatments begin immediately and these software have the potential to provide alert in regard to potential risks.
  • Tracking and managing medications in one location
  • Preventive care becomes way easier and better
  • Great support of on-point care decisions
  • Easy and effective integration

Accurate patient’s information

Another interesting benefit offered by these Electronic Health Records is that here you get accurate patient’s information. Earlier, there were insane amounts of paper records which could never assist well in offering relevant care and service. In fact, these records often got misplaced which resulted in huge issues. Fortunately, with the increase in the concept of EHR, all the records, files and folders are pretty much safe and secured. There is no risk involved in regards to theft, misplacement, damage or alteration of sensitive data. Furthermore, all the mistakes and errors caused due to those unreadable handwriting can be eliminated with the increase in use of digital records.

All the medical practitioners can update patient’s information in real time offering other healthcare professionals an up-to-date accurate patient file. Here continuity is extremely important in case, if the patient has to switch the healthcare professional due to any reason. They don’t have to start everything from scratch.

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Benefits of using EMR

Electronic Medical Records play a very significant role in the lives of both the patient as well as the healthcare professional. Switching to EMR after so many years of using paper charts and physical copies can be a pure bliss. Above I had mentioned benefits of using Electronic health records and now it’s time to focus on the core benefits of using electronic medical records.

Enhanced Practice

One of the obvious benefits of using electronic medical records is that it is quite beneficial for the patient and of course, enhances the quality of work of family physicians. The landscape of medical knowledge among physicians keeps on changing every now and then. One has to keep at it at all costs! Of course, your physician can’t know everything in a single go as they are humans much like you and me, how can they be extraordinary. Fortunately, this is the time when digital systems come in. Electronic medical records are highly designed to enhance access to information, and relationships and transform how more and more physicians conduct their practice.

Cost-effective and Saves More

Another benefit offered by electronic medical records is reduced administrative costs. When you implement an EMR system within your organization can reduce administrative costs to a great extent and replace the need for paper filling entirely. In addition, here staff need to spend less time filing and retrieving relevant information when in need. It’s more like an umbrella effect. Quick diagnosis can be offered. Other than reducing admin costs, healthcare organizations can save ample money by reducing billing errors, diagnosing relevant errors, and more.

Reduction in unnecessary Tests

Another interesting benefit offered by these Electronic medical records is that the scope of testing unnecessarily reduces to a great extent. Medical practitioners can easily see what kind of tests a patient has done. In fact, these days more and more hospitals have started implementing or following NUTS, or No Unnecessary Tests program just to reduce the unnecessary tests. This certainly reduces patients inconvenience, discomfort, and potential injury since they have evidence of conducting tests in advance. As a result, patients’ overall experience is improved to a great extent.

Now moving on, further I would simply like to emphasize on some of the top EMR and EHR usage Trends to take into account.

EMR and EHR Top Trends That will Rule in the Future

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

With technological advancement dominating across the globe, artificial intelligence and Machine learning seems to have penetrated in any and every industry vertical and to be honest the healthcare industry is no exception. At the present times more and more hospitals and healthcare organizations are found using AI and machine learning technology to conduct relevant analysis, gather relevant information and whatnot!

In most of the electronic health record systems functions such as voice recognition technology where a physician can directly check the EHR or EMR system and provide the relevant details and descriptions regarding the individual’s iron levels depicted on a blood test report or any allergies. Apart from this, AI technology can be quite useful in pathology. It can be used to analyze particular biopsies and get to know specific patterns.

Integration

Another interesting trend in the EHR and EMR field or the healthcare field is high-end integrations. In the medical field, one of the most crucial drawbacks is that most of the softwares do not integrate well with other systems. So when exactly a patient comes into the hospital, the staff needs to go through tons of records within the space as well as anywhere else if the patient has visited previously so that they can get a full picture of their health.

Easy accessibility and high-end integration are one of the most relevant aspects that enhance healthcare services and turn out to be beneficial for both medical practitioners as well as the patients.  In addition to this, EMRs and EHRs softwares are pretty easy to use. They are way better than paper files and can create a reputation of being well-organized and decluttered.

Predictive Analysis

Another interesting Trend by using EMR and EHR softwares is that there is a huge scope for conducting predictive analysis. I am sure you must have heard of big data being used in a plethora of fields especially by Google and Amazon and healthcare organizations are doing pretty much the same. The predictive analytics can be applied to a new individual patient just to make better decisions and enable more and more EHR systems to enhance patient experience as well as care. In fact, these are some of the significant factors that make an EMR or EHR software more and more reliable and convenient for both the parties. In fact, several organizations offer helpful insights for both doctors as well as patients by offering more and more accuracy every year.

Virtual Reality

I am sure you must be well-acquainted with the fact that the healthcare industry is one of the most leading industries that have adopted virtual reality to a great extent. In fact, several professionals believe that virtual reality makes it convenient to access and learn more and more information for all the medical students and practicing healthcare professionals.

Virtual reality and Augmented Reality enable the entire medical staff to gather all the necessary information beforehand, enable more and more surgeons to rehearse and obtain precision in real operation, treat anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorders, and overall these types of disruptive technologies also assist well in faster emotional recovery.

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Conclusion

The future seems highly to be in favor of EHR and EMR technology. More and more healthcare organizations are found promoting these technologies and this is not it, more and more technologies will be added in future just to make things less tricky and hassle-free. After all, healthcare services are supposed to be on par and offer the best possible patient-centric services.

So that’s all for now! I hope you did enjoy reading the post and in case, if you still have any doubts and queries, feel free to mention them in the comment section below.

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