EMR Vs EHR: What’s the Difference?

EMR Vs EHR: What’s the Difference?   If you’re researching the electronic records kept by healthcare providers, there are two terms that are likely to come up: electronic health records and electronic medical records. What’s this EMR vs EHR issue? Here’s some information that can help you make sense of what you’re reading: The General Idea In casual conversation, you’ll likely hear the terms EMR and EHR used interchangeably. Both refer to the idea of moving the information that once would have been kept in paper files into software applications, kept either online or on a central computer. Both also have the goal of increasing administrative efficiency (by helping to standardize forms and reduce data input), protecting files from physical destruction (through office fires or floods), and keeping important data safe and private (through advanced security systems including permissions for viewers). It’s also been shown that electronic records improve patient care. Doctors can make better decisions when they can easily access all a patient’s information. Web based electronic medical records that have user interfaces for patients can also get patients more involved in their own care. Drawing Distinctions There are situations, however, in which it’s helpful to draw a finer line between electronic medical and electronic health records. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, for example, uses only the term electronic health records. Why? EMR software, in its narrowest sense, is purely medical, taking what would be on a doctor’s chart and digitizing it. It’s mostly a tool for diagnosis. EHR systems, on the other hand, emphasize a broader concept of “health” as wellbeing of...

Survey Shows Patients Approve of Electronic Health Records, Want Online EMR Access

Survey Shows Patients Approve of Electronic Health Records, Want Online EMR Access   Medical practices of all sizes have seen that electronic health and medical billing system software can benefit care providers by improving day-to-day efficiency and streamlining collection (by automatically linking care records to medical billing systems, it’s easier to submit claims and receive payment from insurance companies). The shift toward electronic health records may have been precipitated by government-provided financial incentives — and indeed, as of 2013, 69% of physicians said they were participating in or intended to apply for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs — but their use is becoming entrenched because they work well. Patient Perceptions But how do patients feel about their electronic medical records? According to a new report put out by the National Partnership for Women and Families, patients too find “significant” value in electronic records and want to have more personal access to them online. The report is based on a Harris Poll survey conducted last spring. Of the 2,000 participants, more viewed EHRs positively in 2014 than viewed them positively in 2011. Between 85% and 96% of respondents said that EHRs benefited both providers and patients — a number that was between only 57% and 68% for paper records. That outlook remained the same even if the respondent’s own doctor wasn’t currently using EMR software. The report suggests that one reason for this is the growing ubiquity of EHRs. In 2001, only 18% of office-based physicians used EHRs of any kind. A decade later, that figure rose to 55%. Last year, 78% of physicians had adopted an EHR...